I decided to re-post this and add to it--you'll see the reason why...
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 that it was 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. The poet was despondent and at age 26, compared his own hard times with that of the mouse – a life of harsh struggle, with little or no reward at the end.
Now, I guess there are two ways to take 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 a lot 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 climbing onto a chair like the headless lady with the 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.
Last summer, at 3am, 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. 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 reply. Bill and the kids took the mouse in the jar, in the car, and drove a mile or two away and then 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. Bill poured some cooking oil on it to act like some degreaser. The poor mouse was freaked out. Then Bill carefully washed the mouse off. By then, I had had it. Enough is enough. Off they were again, the mouse in the jar, 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.
We got smart, and got a cat.
Two years later...after our cat's untimely death by automobile:
I started seeing signs of mice-- small, dark shadows darting with lightening speed. I knew they couldn't be the "floaters" in my eye like I'd hoped. Sure enough, THEY'RE BAAACK!!
Long story short:
This Winter we caught 29 mice. Say that with me. TWENTY NINE MICE. Bill caught and released most of them by hand, just as before. He doesn't listen to reason. He just regresses into this childlike state and enjoys the sport of catching mice bare-handed. Once again, the Aspie side of him comes out. He pays attention to the details and loses sight of the big picture.
I now have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Wanted: Outside cat, good mouser
Have already: Husband who will be outside if this ever happens again.