You would think mice catching and being a talk radio host would have nothing in common, right? Well, read forward for the real truth . . .
It all starts when the chill of autumn weather ushers rodents from the nearby cherry orchard toward our home. About this time each year my husband and son get rather fancy with the ways they are going to catch mice when they pop up. Mostly the mice stick to the garage but we sometimes see them in our laundry room which serves as the connecting mud room between our garage and home.
Over the years I have listened to my husband and son strategize about whether it is more effective to buy fancy mouse traps, the kind that draw them in and don’t let them out, or to buy the tested and true wooden ones that snap. I’ve also heard them discuss the relative effectiveness of using butter, peanut butter, cheese or bread as bait. (You’d think they were fishing for pleasure.) They have tried encouraging cats but none were fast enough to catch the mice. I have watched my husband lay in wait with a BB gun and try to shoot a mouse-sized rat under the dog house. I have laughed as my son has chased a mouse around the washing machine with a broom.
This year, as usual, as soon as it grew cold, we heard the squeak and scratch of a mouse. My son and husband immediately started setting traps which, by the way, were mostly ignored by the mouse. They also cleaned cupboards, the pantry and the laundry room with peppermint oil (they read that it deters rodents). Still we heard the squeak. This year the mouse and his friends were evading every effort my men made.
As I watched them try all kinds of ways to trap, capture and eradicate rodents, I realized I had done nothing to help. And had only stood at a distance and laughed as I observed human antics versus mouse. The mice were winning. Of course, my job, along with my teenage girls was always, when we saw a mouse, to scream until the men came. I continued with this pattern and did not participate in the hunt until today.
This morning I got up early to let the dogs out of the laundry room. I made several trips from the kitchen through the laundry room to the pantry to gather ingredients and a slow cooker, to get dinner started. I was humming and making lunches when my son went out to the laundry room. He yelped and ran back into the kitchen and exclaimed, “Mom, have you been out to the pantry today?” “Yes, several times,” I said. He left and came back and said, “You did it Mom! You killed the mouse!”
When I was brave enough to look, I saw that, sure enough, in the footpath I had been making back and forth from the kitchen through the laundry room to the pantry, there was a mouse squished flat in mid-flight, most certainly by my foot. (Before you scream, like I did for 5 minutes, please note that I was wearing thickly soled slippers.)
I had succeeded in killing the mouse where my husband and son had strategized and failed. I suppose I could brag about this, rub it in, lord it over my men. Yet I won’t because I still have the heebie-jeebies from the dastardly deed I did without even knowing it. Here I thought I was just a harmless radio host. And now I have become a deadly mouse trap. My son thinks I am cool but I can only shudder and scream! Eeeewwwwugggghhh! Thankfully there are no mice in our radio studio.
From the desk of Kim Power Stilson, host of The Kim Power Stilson Show on BYU Radio.