The Recovering Farmer

Friday, November 29, 2013

Catch and Release

It would appear that the mouse population is exploding in Manitoba. Well, perhaps that is an overstatement. What I do hear about frequently is that there is a mouse invasion. Again, perhaps an overstatement. What I actually have heard is that many people are having mouse issues inside their homes.

You have to understand that as much as I may be friendly towards animals, again an overstatement, there are two types of animals that I am not a friend of. That would be snakes, a story for another day, and rodents. Mice, of course, fall into the latter category. I recall when our daughter was in kindergarten. The teacher kept a hamster , a type of rodent, in the classroom for the kid’s entertainment. So far so good. However, each weekend she allowed one of the kids to take the hamster home. Towards the end of the school year it was our daughter’s turn. Her mother warned her that she should not come anywhere near her dad with hamster in hand. Happens that on that fateful Sunday afternoon I was having a nap on the couch. My daughter, not heeding her mother’s warning, came and placed the hamster on my chest. Needless to say chaos ensued. The hamster got some free air miles that day. Literally.

A couple of weeks ago we found indications of mouse activity in our house. When we did some work in our garage we had brought in golf bags, hockey equipment and various other sundry items normally found in garages. It seems that by doing that we brought mice into the house. It took a day or two to get traps put up. One day as my wife was preparing lunch for the family she opened a kitchen drawer and a mouse jumped out at her. All we heard was a blood curdling scream, we looked, and she was firmly sitting on top of the counter, still screaming. A chase ensued. Ever seen a mouse trying to find traction on a hardwood floor? Ever see a group of consenting adults chase a mouse on a hardwood floor? Kind of humorous actually.

My son trapped the mouse in a small pail. As we pondered next steps I heard someone ask the following question.

“Ger, you’re not going to kill that mouse are you?

My answer?

“My oh my. Who me? Kill a mouse? How could this have happened? I think we need to find a reasonable method to dispose of this wonderful four legged creature." (Really that is not what I said but to repeat my words would not be suitable in this forum.)

I conceded. I helped my son contain the mouse in the pail and he took it out to our ditch and released it. However, I did make a quick trip to the store and purchased some traps. I did catch a few more but unfortunately mouse traps do not really allow for a catch and release program. So, perhaps, in some small way I felt vindicated.

Recently I checked for further activity. Seems we took care of the problem. My wife still uses extreme caution when opening drawers. That too shall pass. It does take a while for therapy to kick in. In the mean time I am reminded of the quote which says; “the early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese”. Is there a life lesson in this? I have no idea. I will let you decide. Make it a good one.

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