Friday, September 26, 2008

Mice are Nice

I've never been big on those snap traps. Perhaps it's the mother in me. So one day a couple of years back, my wonderful husband, the Captain, brought home one of those humane things that traps the mice but doesn't do them any real harm (unless you forget to check it for several days, and I've had a couple of traumatic experiences with this, so let's just move on). Since then, I've spent many a morning chatting away to cute little furry, beady-eyed prisoners downstairs in the pantry. Today was just such a morning. My dogs, who shall heretofore be referred to as "Rusty" and "Jerome" (because I'm obsessed with personifying long-retired puppets from Canadian children's programming), like to attend the release party, and despite their insistence on pulling down the curtains in a frenzy of barking and jumping every time a squirrel runs by the window, they never give escaping mice a second sniff. So, with Firstborn safely playing computer games, and Rosemary's Baby glued to an episode of Barney (Mother of the Year!!!), out to the field we trotted, with a quick stop at our farm-sized vegetable garden to find the often-missing, always-filthy pair of work gloves. A quick sidenote here: if you're ever driving down the highways of rural Manitoba and see a slightly dishevelled woman in her pajamas releasing wildlife into the fields while wearing a pair of oven mitts, there's no need to pull over and call Mental Health Services. It's just me.
Maybe I'm simply used to mice. We're situated in an area where we are directly surrounded by hay fields, so we see quite a few. But I'm confused as to how they became such an object of terror in my family. I have a vivid memory of being woken up at 6AM to the sound of my mother shrieking, having found what she thought was a mouse (later to be identified as a plastic measuring cup) buried in the sugar bowl. Don't get me wrong, I've had few unpleasant experiences myself: releasing a mouse in a field a few miles down the road only to discover that she'd had babies in the couch, all of whom I'd condemned to death by catching and releasing her; the dead mouse lying in the big sack of coffee beans we keep in the basement (probably all that caffeine...); the aforementioned forgotten trap left in the workshop while we went on vacation. Unpleasant. But scary? I guess I'm just not that easily alarmed anymore. And that's a good thing when Firstborn has found something cool he wants to shove in my face...

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