Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Über-mouse

The über-mouse is dead. We, as a family, considered him a worthy adversary, being brave, cagey, resourceful, all of those attributes one so looks for in a foe. But I should probably start at the beginning.
It was a couple of weeks back when I first saw that little bundle of speed and intelligence as he tore across our laundry room floor, diving in behind the totes where we keep our Christmas decorations. No problem, I figured. I grabbed a trap (a Rodent-Snap 2000), primed it up with some peanut-butter, and set it behind the dryer. A couple of days later the trap was still there, unsprung and peanut-butter free. Apparently the little mutt had licked the peanut-butter without getting his tongue caught. Not bad, I said to myself as I re-primed the trap, this time using a small bit of partially cooked bacon.
That trap sat there for several days, bacon untouched, and in the meantime we saw the little thug in our downstairs living area, in our cold-room, and in the laundry room. I pulled two more traps from the safety locker and primed them with bacon as well. One trap I placed behind the entertainment center (or ‘wall unit’ since it’s big enough to be a wall), and the other trap went behind our freezer (or ‘freezer’ since we use it to freeze stuff). Once again we began to wait.
And a wait it was, boys, I kid you not. Yet the traps would still mysteriously either remain untouched, or the bait would disappear with the traps unsprung. It was during these trying times that we came to understand what we were dealing with here. This was no garden variety mouse, but rather something a little special. It all came to a head one morning when I was home alone following a graveyard shift. I was downstairs watching a DVD before going to bed when a few minutes into ‘Dirty French Debutants Go To Church’ I heard the trap behind the freezer snap. Yo ho, I figured, got ‘im! I was going to give the little beggar a couple of minutes to cool off then I was going to give him a nice burial at sea (or ‘at toilet’). However, when I finally got over there, there was no rapidly chilling mouse corpse, nor was there a trap. I searched all around but the little creep had stolen my Rodent-Snap 2000. Go figure.
That afternoon I told my wife what had happened so she went to scout the area out. She did find the trap but it was about eight feet (two and a half meters, give or take) from where I had set it. It was at that point that we knew, we had an über-mouse in our house.
We combed the basement from end to end and side to side and discovered that a sack of birdseed in the cold room had a tiny hole gnawed in it and there was a substantial pile of carelessly discarded shells scattered around. I took the sack outside and emptied it into the birdfeeders, but rather than cleaning up the shells I took the trap that had been set up behind the freezer, re-primed it with peanut-butter and set it in the shells. The next day the peanut-butter was gone, the trap (typically) unsprung. I reloaded with bacon covered in peanut-butter. First the über-mouse licked off the peanut-butter, then he took the bacon, and the trap was still unsprung.
I got my oldest boy to clear up the shells, then I re-primed all the traps and once again prepared to wait. My thought was that with his primary source of food (the seed) gone, he would be forced into a potentially rash action that could only spell lights out for the little brute. Well it took a few days but it worked and we nailed him. I believe that with the lack of food his physical reactions were off and when he went for that last bit of peanut-butter crusted bacon, he zigged when he should have zagged and straight to mouse heaven he went. Über-mouse RIP, Boxing Day, 200x AD.
You would think that would be the end of the story, but no. Boxing Day evening my boys and I are watching ‘Best In Show’ on CBC, the now unneeded mouse traps have been cleaned and are now sitting on top of the freezer waiting to be put back into the safety locker. Then we heard one of the traps go off, and I even saw it flip into the air. Cool, I thought, but here’s the deal. I had been about to put the traps away so they were all in the ‘safety’ or ‘disengaged’ or ‘not set’ positions, in other words, they were all snapped! So how did this one manage to go off so violently that it flew into the air? My youngest son figured he had the answer when he hissed, “Ghost of the über-mouse.”
Weird, huh? Hope you all are doing well.
Humouroceros

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