Wanted: Stupid Mice

09.23.08 | 2 Comments

FIENDS, those mice! They’re are not fooled, and they’re nimble, as well.

Hearing our plea, a nice man in town gave us an old 5 gallon crock, something wider and deeper than the army-sized animal cracker jar we’d been using in the pumphouse. This old vessel is the same crock his mother brined olives in every year, the olives she’d pluck from the trees at St. Andrew’s church. He added that, on a whim one year, she pickled eggs in it, instead.

Well, yum. And this year, it’s a lousy mouse trap! Let me show you how:

Ford was good, this time. He placed a handful of alfalfa at the bottom of the crock, beside a pile of fancy pants rat food. He cut a cross, careful as a surgeon, into a thick piece of black construction paper taped to the top of the crock. Finally, he suspended another bite of moldy cheese above it.

And the mouse, once again, took the cheese. It appears he snagged the bait, fell into the crock, finished eating the cheese and then bailed out backwards, jumping two feet in the dark through a primitive paper matrix, back into the free world of organic New Zealand goat brie handouts.

This trap kind of blows and I’m starting to feel like Wylie Coyote. If you ask this Den Mom, I’d say it’s time to move on. Still, the boys persist…

…and Scoutmaster John arrived with a plan F, which he shared immediately:

“As for the mouse trap, I had an idea. It would appear they are standing on the edge and grabbing the cheese (mice are smart). Try a larger container where they can’t reach the cheese from the edge. Make a smooth metal cone for container that is steep enough to cause the mouse to slide down and not be able to run back up. If cheese is far enough away from edge, it will make them go on to metal cone. It’s always best to wait and not visit the spot too often as you might be scaring away the mice. So, to stay within the realms of rodent harmony, try putting food, water and cedar shavings at the bottom of this deep container, so the little guys has what it needs to survive for a couple of days.”

Look, he even illustrated it! And just for this Eagle Effort we’re going balls-out to find the right gauge sheet metal lying around in the garage and a handful of elves to hold a gun to the mouse’s head so he has no way out but down. OK, just kidding! But seriously. Mouse beware!

Addendum Sept. 29: The cats left a huge rat carcass on the stoop a few mornings ago. Someone’s paying attention!

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