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Mouse Tales


I can't believe I've failed to use that pun 'til now. Almost titled this "Three Tales from Mouse Flats," but decided to go for brevity, plus an explanation that's longer than the long title would've been, for a net savings of about minus thirty words.

There's been no news on the mouse front for a while. As I noted a couple weeks ago, the mouse (I imagine they're plural, but easier to refer to as singular) took the cookie fragment that was sitting in the mouth of the trap, but then didn't venture further in to take the two smaller cookie fragments that were in the back of the trap. (For those joining the saga late, this is one of those live traps.)

Sometime in the past couple days, I checked the trap for the first time in a couple days, and found that both of the cookie fragments from the back of the trap were gone, suggesting that the mouse was so light that its weight plus the weight of two chunks of cookie was not enough to trigger the trap. Sigh. I left the trap in place anyway, figuring I'd find a heavier piece of bait to put in the back. And reminding myself to spring the trap before leaving on vacation in a couple days, because I would hate to come back to find that a mouse had entered the trap and then died of starvation.

Then last night I looked in my backpack for something and found a shredded bag of airline peanuts. I had left the bag, intact, in the backpack a while back; apparently the mouse found it, tore it apart, and ate the peanuts. Also, the mouse had gotten into a plastic baggie of nearly new AAA batteries (by creating and then apparently entering through a hole no more than a quarter inch across) and had apparently gnawed on those, since there was white dusty battery acid all over the inside of the bag.

On the minus side, loss of batteries, plus bits of silvery plastic all over the inside of my backpack. On the plus side, the mouse was still coming into my room, so there was still a chance of catching it; hope springs eternal.

Last night I went to bed without earplugs for the first time in a while—I'd been to the doctor yesterday to have my ears irrigated to remove plugs of earwax that were blocking them, and I didn't want to block any remaining moisture inside with the earplugs. Sometime around 3 a.m., I awoke to the unmistakable sounds of mouse activity.

I got up and snuck across the room, and flipped on the light at the same time as I opened the closet door—

And the trap had been sprung, and there was a mouse in it, staring up at me with quivering whiskers.

I moved the trap to my bathtub just in case the mouse managed to somehow escape, and went back to sleep.

It's still in the trap this morning. I'm hoping Kam will be able to give me a ride out to a nature preserve to let it go.

I'm sure that's not the end of the mouse tales; I imagine there are a fair number of other mice in the walls. But it's the first time that one of my live traps has worked all by itself, so I'm pleased about that.


The story has it all: heroic struggle against all odds, an assortment of backstory details to give the protagonist and antagonist depth and realism, and an unexpected ending. Have you considered being a writer?

A similar pun is in Stephen Leacock's piece about the Great Detective: when in a pensive mood, he plays "Sonata in Six Flats with a Basement". On his saxophone :)

Michael: :) Thanks!

Josh B: :) on "Six Flats with a Basement"—nice! I need to read more Leacock one of these days.

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