Thursday, June 30, 2011

Of Mice and Men and the battle between

My daughter is a huge mouse fan. In particular, the legendary mouse going by the moniker “Mickey”. However, a recent family encounter with a mouse was not nearly as sweet and cute as the aforementioned cuddly cartoon critter. No, our story of mice begins with me sitting on the couch watching television one night when the little fellow stuck his head out from behind the television stand. Cautiously, he moved out into the open to check out his new neighborhood. Now this wasn’t the friendly theme park mascot that my daughter is so fond of, no, this was the mouse that eats into your cereal boxes and makes a nest out of your favorite sweater.

As I watched our little visitor scamper around the floor boards looking for crumbs, I was already drawing up my battle plans for the next day. This mouse had broken into my fortress and because of his trespass, I declared war. I planned on making quick work of this little rodent and claim my crown as the defender of my home.

The next morning I visited one of our local hardware stores and immediately went to the “pest” aisle. I couldn’t help but imagine my daughters disappointment if she could only get a peek inside my head at the plan I was devising for this little fellow, but like a good father, I shook that thought out of my head and purchased the old fashioned, tried-and-true, snap trap.

I entered the battleground and found his most likely route of travel considering the sighting I had the night before. I set the snap trap and started to place the bait in position. My bait of choice is peanut butter as I’ve actually had more success with it than using the traditional cheese. As I placed the peanut butter, I accidently triggered the trap, which immediately earned its name and reputation by snapping down on my thumb causing significant pain (and an equal amount of embarrassment) . . . mouse - 1, daddy – 0. My daughter would smile.

Finally the trap was successfully, if not painfully, set and positioned. Now all I had to do was wait patiently. The next day, anxious to see the bounty of my strategic planning and positioning, I took a quick look at the trap. Unfortunately, what I saw made me realize I was battling no ordinary mouse. This mouse was clearly battle tested and wise to the ways of the snap trap. But not only was the trap not triggered, the peanut butter had been licked clean. Finally, adding insult to injury, the little rodent left evidence that it was him that had stolen by the bait. I’ll spare you the details of the evidence, but let’s just say it rhymes with “house scoop”. Yes, he essentially took my bait and left a signed statement on how he felt about my battle plan . . . mouse – 2, daddy – 0. My daughter would now be laughing.

Unfortunately for our arrogant little visitor and two of his friends, a series of four traps, set with staggered bait of peanut butter, cheese, and honey was too much to resist and I was rewarded with the sound of victory late one night, a loud “SNAP” from behind the piano as I slowly slipped into a hazy dreamland of dancing mice with a smile on my face.

So what would I tell my daughter about this battle victory? Like most good daddy’s . . . nothing, of course, but if I am ever forced to tell this tale to my rodent-adoring daughter, I’ll tell her this, I’d be happy to go visit Mickey at his house, but he’d better not come looking for crumbs at ours. daddy – 3, mice – 2, FINAL score

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