I’ve been dreaming about mice. Not the smiling from ear to ear, wearing red and white polka dots, dating something called Minnie kind of mice, but furry, pink-tailed, poop trailing, red-eyed mice. Mice that sneak out of the walls and furniture, scavenging through my pantry and leaving me little presents behind the sofa or on my kitchen counter-top. I’ve been dreaming that they stand in my bedroom doorway at night, mocking me, laughing at their cleverness. In fact, I’m starting to wonder if they have been paying Luna off in dog treats to let them in, and show them to the “good stuff”. DW suggested that maybe The Secret of Nimh has been reincarnated. Perhaps, but if that is the case, then Mrs. Brisby, I suggest you leave as soon as possible because your days are numbered. Sick Timothy or not.
Friday night we took the many suggestions of friends and put out a handful of old-fashioned wood traps with the spring-loaded arm. We baited them with peanut butter. The Hare was very upset. She cried a little at the thought of waking up to dead mice.
“But why, Mom? Can’t you just trap them and set them free in the woods?”
“We tried that, but they kept stealing the bait and escaping the traps.”
“I’m just so sad,” she sniffled.
“Then don’t come downstairs until after Daddy checks the traps.”
The next morning DW entered the war zone. I waited anxiously to find out the number of casualties.
“EM! COME DOWN HERE!” he bellowed.
My heart jumped, wondering if I was ready to see the results of our efforts. When I entered the family room, DW stood there with a half-cocked smile.
“All the traps were licked clean!”
“What do you mean, licked clean?”
“The peanut butter is totally gone but none of the traps were sprung.”
The girls came down to see the commotion. The Hare seemed relieved while the rest of us were visibly disappointed. The next night, Saturday, we put out mixed artillery: new and improved plastic spring-loaded traps and added glue traps. Again we baited with peanut butter. About midnight DW was still watching TV, while I waded in and out of sleep.
Suddenly DW sat up.
“What? What’s wrong?” I whispered, startled awake.
“I think I heard something downstairs, a loud snap!”
DW snuck downstairs, carrying a flashlight. A few minutes later he came back into the bedroom, beaming.
“We got two of them! One is in a plastic trap and the other is caught in the glue!”
Since it was so late, we decided to just wait and clean them up in the morning. They were not in places either the dog or children would be able to get to easily. I slept soundly.
The next morning DW went downstairs to clean up the evidence.
“EM! COME DOWN HERE!” he bellowed again.
Awesome, I thought. The other traps were full too. But much to my dismay, DW looked very perplexed.
“The mouse stuck in the glue is gone, and so is the trap.”
“Huh? You mean he got himself un-stuck?”
“I mean, the whole trap is gone. He must have dragged it away with him!”
We searched all over the house, moving furniture and rugs trying to find the missing trap. The last thing I wanted was for Luna or one of the girls finding a really pissed off mouse with his ass attached to a tray filled with glue. But we came up with nada. Seriously, nothing, how does an injured mouse and a glue trap just totally disappear?
I was filled with disappointment again, but at least we got one. The Hare saw it a little differently.
“At least one got away,” she muttered under her breath.
Sunday night we set a series of traps in the usual places again. Just before bedtime, I discovered some dirty dishes left in the loft. The loft is a finished room above our garage that is accessible through the kitchen and off our mud-room. It is a playroom and another TV room just for the kids. It is one of The Hare’s favorite rooms in the house. I carried the dishes downstairs to the kitchen, scowling. The Hare was sitting at the kitchen counter.
“Look inside this bowl!” I said.
“What are those black things?” asked The Hare peering inside.
“Trust me, they aren’t sprinkles.”
“MOUSE POOP? THERE’S A MOUSE IN MY PLAYROOM?” she squeaked.
“How many traps did you set this time?” she snapped.
As of this morning, we caught another one in the spring-loaded trap. Although, it appears a mouse attempted to retrieve the peanut butter from one of the glue traps, but then decided not too, only leaving me a small amount of poop on the counter. Obviously, his injured comrade made it back to home base and educated them on those !@#$%^&* glue traps.
I’ll be buying more spring-loaded traps this afternoon.