If you give a mouse a granola bar


Stephanie Haines

I like to make up silly rhymes for various situations I find myself in. When I take Yogi for a walk and he sniffs, I sing, “I / need you / to / poop. I don’t know if this really motivates him to do his business, but it certainly makes me laugh.

But lately my refrain was: “Mouse, mouse / in the house / we got a mouse / in the house”. I first noticed that something was wrong when I was alone early one morning and heard rustling. I get scared easily enough, but I managed to convince myself that it was normal house noise, or something outside.

When mom asked me about a suspicious substance in a drawer, I had to confirm that it had indeed been left by a mouse. I have housed various rodents in the past, both intentionally (hamsters) and uninvited (mice), so I’m quite familiar with the evidence they leave behind.

I also have some experience with what does not work. I like the idea of ​​a humane trap, but this catch and release method almost guarantees that you are recycling the same mouse. I think once you start this process the word spreads throughout the rodent community that you can get a free meal and a ride home.

Of course, the risk to the mouse is that when the statute of limitations runs out, the household may get sick of the Groundhog Day-type game and set up pressure traps. But these are not foolproof. Mom said she wasn’t afraid of being foiled by the dog, but she draws the line with a mouse.

I tried to make her feel better by pointing out that if you have to learn anything from cartoons it is that cats are smarter than dogs, mice are smarter than cats and cats are smarter than cats. rabbits are the smartest of all. By this reasoning, she should really feel worse to be foiled by dogs. It didn’t help the situation.

Other mouse business cards were found in the pantry, including a cereal bar that had been nibbled on, in addition to a completely empty wrapper. Mom determined that using part of the bar that was partially chewed would be good bait, as the mouse had shown an obvious preference.

But later, not only was the trap intact, but a new cereal bar had been removed from the shelf and dragged to the middle of the kitchen floor. The mouse was not only happy with the treat, but had to make a statement for all to see. I said it was like the mouse gave him a finger. (Or maybe save it for friends on TikTok.)

We knew we couldn’t rely on Yogi, since he couldn’t manage to drive the rabbits out of the yard, especially since he usually didn’t notice them in the first place. Also, we had to make sure to keep the cabinet doors closed in order to keep Yogi away from the peanut butter-laden traps, knowing his penchant for this nut-laden fat.

I suggested we should hire a cat. I asked kitten owners if their felines were interested in an independent consultation. It seems that cats that catch mice are rare. Apparently, this skill is outdated and not taught to the younger generation, much like cursive writing for human children.

Then, just as suddenly, the mouse seemed to disappear. It could be like trick-or-treaters getting all they can in one house before quickly moving on to the next with assembly line efficiency. Perhaps, unlike most players, he hit the jackpot and walked out while retaining the bounty.

Or maybe he overdosed on all those goodies and went to live in that big pantry in the sky.


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