Apr 2, 2008

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Awry

The proverb “The best laid plans of mice and men” had been going through my mind all morning today. It was driving me nuts because I couldn’t remember the last part of it or even if there was a last part. So finally, after analyzing the heck out of it, and not being able to come up with a reason why a mouse would be in cahoots with a man, I decided to look it up on the internet. I found out that it was actually a poem written in 1785 by Robert Burns, a Scot. It is actually a tender, sad story about how the author was plowing one November day and he overturned a mouse nest. He felt sorry for the mouse who was all ready for Winter. He reflected on what a horrible thing to do, that this was an impossible time for a mouse to rebuild. There is no grass to build a new home and the December winds are cold and sharp. Where the mouse had thought that she was prepared for winter in her comfortable little nest in the ground, now she is faced with trying to survive in a most unfriendly climate, with little or no hope in sight.

Now, I guess there are several ways to look at this. All of the mice I have ever known have lived in our house and they were really quite fat and lazy. Last Summer, we discovered that we had a mouse in our house. My dad always told me that if you see one mouse, there are bound to be more. He was right.
I have a difficult time even typing the word mouse. It sends shivers up and down my spine and I have to brace myself from leaping onto a chair like that headless lady wielding a broom on the Tom and Jerry cartoons. My husband, on the other hand, loves rodents. In fact, before we met, he used to breed rats. Can you imagine that?! That was numero uno on the list of things that had to go when we began dating. Utter disgust.
One morning, at 3am, when most of the world sleeps, I heard some banging and swooping noises that woke me up. I immediately went downstairs and discovered Bill, the man I married, with a mouse in his hand. He had caught it bare-handed or should I say, red-handed. The mouse had bit him. Ah, hay, no. I was outta there.
He put it in a jar and there he kept it very well. By morning, the kids were elated to see a cute (gulp), little brown mouse. They wanted to keep it and name it. "It’s either me or the mouse!"-was my screeching reply. Bill and the kids took the mouse in the jar, in the car, and drove a mile or two away and released it into the wild.
A week later there was some commotion in the downstairs bathroom. A mouse was stuck on a glue trap. Bill pulled it off ever so slowly. I couldn’t stand the suction sound so I locked myself in my bedroom and focused on yoga breathing. Supposedly the glue was still on one side of the mouse and it was acting drunk-like and couldn’t walk straight. Bill poured some cooking oil on it to act like some sort of degreaser. The poor mouse was freaked out. Then Bill carefully washed the mouse off. By then, I had had it! Enough was enough. Off they were again, the mouse in the jar, and the four of them in the car. This continued all summer long until Bill caught all 6 mice. Five of them were humanely trapped, and released. The sixth one was not such a lucky fellow.
Feel free to email me your mouse story and I'll post it! Keep it clean, kids.

1 comment:

  1. My husband saw two mice running toward a glue board. The lead mouse stopped short in front of the glue board, and did not run onto it. The mouse in the rear stopped also, then he (or a clever she)intentionally "goosed" the mouse in front, who promptly jumped onto the glue board. The mouse in the rear then ran safely across the glue board over the back of his downed comrade, disappearing into a hole in the wall.




Ernie and Oscar learn they like different things-great for kids on the Spectrum!