As I labored on my literary endeavours on the internet of an evening that stretched periously close to a sunlit morning my creative rapture was interrupted by the consciousness of a flickering sound. I determined to investigate. The room which holds the vile machine is directly off the kitchen. I quietly arose and peeked into the kitchen and espied a grey flash dashing across a counter top to hide behind the stove.
“Aha”, I said, “I have a mouse in my abode.” Fond as I am of Nature I am much prefer that wild fauna dwell in the great outdoors and not in my kitchen. Being quite cold hearted in these matters I forthwith set out a trap for the little beastie, carefully baited with peanut butter. (For some reason mice are quite gaga over peanut butter, much more so than cheese.)
Now this trap was not your old fashioned trap consisting of a board and spring and baited lever. No, this trap was a more modern device, quite good actually, made of plastic. When the trap is sprung a plastic plate slams down instead of a piece of wire. It is altogether more practical for the clumsier would be rodent exterminator – there is much less risk of getting your finger snapped whilst baiting the trap. It is also more humane, a matter which I did not immediately appreciate.
I set out the trap and retired to my studies. Within an hour the efforts of the mighty hunter were rewarded; I heard a thunk in the kitchen. Out I went and there I observed a little gray form in the jaws of the trap. One of the merits of this trap is that it is conveniently reusable. One presses at one end, the jaws open, and the corpse tumbles out. Not being particularly sentimental I decided to dispose of the lifeless body in the garbage can.
Up goes the lid of the garbage can. Pop goes the end of the trap. Down goes the lifeless corpse into the can. Lifeless corpse? Did I say lifeless corpse? Not so. This mouse was very much alive. So there I was, staring down into the garbage can at a mouse who was staring back at me – a little field mouse, very much alive, its soft eyes clawing at my heart. The thought ran through my mind, “What in the Hell do I do now!?”
No doubt there was a right thing to do. Whatever it was, I didn’t think of it. Instead I got a long knife and tried to skewer him with it. This was not notably successful. Mice can move very fast. Frightened mice can jump very high. Out he pops, dashing all over the kitchen at remarkable speed, until he finds his hidey-hole.
“This is not good” I said to myself. I rebaited the trap and set it out again in an enticing spot. “Surely this little creature will have learned from experience and will not be taken in again by free peanut butter.” So it seemed for several days – nights actually for mice are nocturnal creatures. I heard no more midnight scamperings. The bait went untouched. Fear and trauma had surely triumphed over greed.
Not so. This evening I came home late and discovered that greed had indeed triumphed and my little companion was caught. Having learned about the humaneness of this trap the hard way I took the trap and him outdoors to release him into his natural habitat. Alas. This time the humane trap had become the jaws of death. When I released his little body to the earth it fell still and he scampers no more.
This page was last updated July 26, 1997.