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Of Mice and Menopause

July 30, 2012

Since I’m the chairperson of our Call Committee, I’ve been cleaning our parsonage for pastoral candidate tours.  And Vacation Bible School is scheduled for next week.  Out-of-town youth leaders will be staying at the parsonage, too.  They’ll arrive in a few days, and we have a mouse problem over there.  I know this because of two reasons:  it’s been vacant for 14 or 15 months, and I have cleaned up MANY mouse droppings.  I’m a resourceful girl, and I wasn‘t born yesterday, so I know what to do…no big deal; I set a trap line.  Four traps.  I should be able to catch them  (you know there’s never just one) in a day or two.  Or so I thought.

I caught 2 last night. One was dead in the trap. In my opinion, that’s the best kind. Especially if your husband is not there to do it for you.

Then, I checked the drawer for the second trap…and it wasn’t there. Having had some experience with mice, I knew right off what that meant! Live mouse dragging around a trap somewhere in the kitchen & it was up to me to hunt it down, find it, and kill it. And I forgot my hammer at home. So I searched the parsonage for something I could whack the little bugger with. Ahhh…the andirons. ‘They’ll do’, I thought. So, armed with my long handled andiron, I ventured back into the kitchen.

And there he was, just where I expected him to be…in the cupboard beneath the drawer he parachuted out of…with the trap securely attached to his tail. Beady eyes looking at me, just begging for mercy. Now, I think I was merciful but I’m not sure he thought so.  Maybe he had more of a catch and release plan in mind.

So picture me this way: armed with a long-handled andiron, wearing yellow playtex rubber gloves (I’ll be darned if I touch those little buggers with my bare hands), a floral tank top, medium brown capris, & Birkenstocks. All I needed to complete the ensemble was a pair of swim goggles.

I opened the cupboard door ever so slowly, lest he try some mouse aerobic/Olympic moves. By that time, he’d retreated from the front of the cabinet to the very back. Dark colored mouse in dark wood cabinet.  Hmmm.  I am NOT sticking my hand in there! With no flashlight around, I felt around with the andiron & finally found him.  Good thing it was a narrow cupboard. I’m thinking he didn’t much like being poked with my weapon either. Okay…time to get this over with. I proceed to issue about 4 or 5 rapid-fire whacks & nearly broke through the floor of the cupboard. Got ‘em! Score one for the menopausal-andiron-wielding-Jesus-loving-lady!

Now I have to get him out of the trap so I can re-bait it for his next of kin. I’m starting to get the hang of this. Not really liking it, but getting the hang of it nonetheless.

Sooo…I very bravely take my pliers, pick up the trap, hold it at yellow-playtex-gloved arm length, go down the stairs, out the front door, across the lawn to the edge of the woods. Living in the country, we can dispose of small deceased rodents this way. At least I do.  I pry the trap open & shake it a little to release the misshapen but intact rodent.

Back into the house, up the stairs, into the kitchen I go. Straight to the peanut butter jar. Smear a little on the trap, reset it & go home.

On the way out the door, I give in to my bravado just a little. ‘I’ll be back’, I call as I leave the building,

And I was. I caught another one the following morning. Just the way I like them. Dead as a doornail and very securely caught in a trap.

Turns out the mice I caught came from a very large family, and yes, they were harmed, killed in fact, for the greater good of the human inhabitants of the parsonage. Good thing they’ve got cats!

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