One little mouse came out to play
Gathering crumbs along the way
I think mice are among the cutest animals to look at. When I was younger, my brother and I kept mice as pets. I used to cuddle with them whilst my brother, as boys tend to do, believed his mouse was a circus animal and let him do ‘tricks’. His kind of tricks usually involved letting him dangle from his tail and dropping him to the ground of his cage: “Look, it’s an acrobat!”. Yes, we were very young then… and I wasn’t much better than him. I was sad when my first mouse, with the very innovative name of Grey, died of old age. And I can say I was devastated when my second mouse, Blackie (no, I was not very good at coming up with interesting names), had to be put to sleep after what seems to have been a cerebral hemorrhage. Nothing, however, compares to how I felt when my third and last mouse (Whitey, you’d never have guessed) died.
He/she was still very young, and though the pet store claimed he (?) was old enough to leave his mother, I had my doubts. He refused to use the drink bottle attached to the cage and wouldn’t drink from a bowl either. To keep him from dehydration, I had to hold him and sort of force him to drink water using a small syringe I kept at his mouth. Perhaps the pet store keeper or my mother wouldn’t have had any trouble doing that. But for an eight-year-old girl with small hands having to keep an even smaller, wriggling mouse still while giving him water, it was a challenge. Whitey didn’t like it at all and kept trying to wriggle himself free. But he had to drink, or he would die, so I held him a bit tighter… and a bit tighter… and a bit tighter… and then he stopped wriggling. He stopped drinking too. And breathing. I remember I screamed, tears starting to flow down my cheeks, running to my mom yelling “He no longer works! He tried to escape, but I tried to keep him still so I could give him some water, but he kept trying to escape, and now he doesn’t breath anymore!”. My mother tried to console me, but I kept sobbing. Without meaning to, I had killed my pet, my mouse, my Whitey.
We kept a funeral for him in the yard, where he joined Grey and Blackie and my brother’s mice and half a frog he had once found near the stream and decided to bury. It was the last pet we ever had.
Now we have a mouse again, my husband and I. Last night he was there all of a sudden, scaring both of us to death as he walked inches from our heads when we we’re sleeping. An hour earlier I thought I had seen something move in the study room. Well, then we were certain. We tried for an hour to chase him away from underneath the closet where he had taken refuge when we put on the light, and managed to capture him. Only to let him escape seconds later. As he is still in our bedroom and we don’t like the thought of that (were not scared of the tiny creature, but letting him walk so close to us while were sleeping is a bit too much), we hired someone to take care of it and to make sure no mice can get through any holes in our house. And I’m ashamed to admit: he’s not getting rid of the mouse humanely. I know it can be done. For a biology project we spent 3 nights catching mice, marking them and releasing them again to estimate the mice population. Easy traps to use with a bit of peanut butter to lure the mice. We’re using peanut butter as well, and the traps are simple too, but the mouse will be no longer working when he’s caught… Poison lure boxes and back-snapping traps. Dharma would hate us! And I don’t like myself either… But we have to get rid of the mouse (or mice, if we’re unlucky). We’ll see how it turns out…
Out came pussycat sleek and fat
No little mice go scampering back…
- The Green Mouse Project (fernrocks.wordpress.com)
- unwanted visitors… a mouse in the house (bambeco.com)