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Niki Collins-Queen

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Meeting the Mice
By Niki Collins-Queen   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, April 22, 2006
Posted: Saturday, April 22, 2006

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Meeting the mice reminded us of Albert Schweitzer’s words, "By having reverence for life, we enter into a spiritual relation with the world."


It was one of those nights I could not get back to sleep. I staggered into the kitchen and flipped on the light to get a snack.

Just then, I heard rustling in a kitchen cabinet. I held my breath and opened the cabinet. In front of me sat a tiny brown house mouse eating our uncooked caramel popcorn. I stood astonished.

The mouse sat nonchalantly on its haunches clutching a corn kernel with a paw on each side. I moved closer. It stopped a moment, gazed at me and then went back to gobbling. When it finished the popcorn it took another, turned it around, and nibbled some more.

A crunching sound came from another cabinet. A couple of saltine cracker crumbs fell on the counter when I opened the cabinet. Little black eyes full of child like innocence looked at me. Its whiskers and muzzle quivered as it sniffed the air. It bit into its cracker again. I stared mesmerized. The mouse seemed to say, "The food’s good. Come and join the party!"

Bud, my husband, woke up when I went back to bed. "Would you like to meet our mice?" I whispered.

"Hell no!" he snorted, rolled over and went back to sleep.

Bud proudly held up two mousetraps when he got home from work the next day. I surveyed the traps complete with corn for bait.

"It’s like a guillotine—it’ll break their necks!" he said proudly.

I placed four plastic rectangular mousetraps next to his. They’re Have-a-Heart traps," I said smirking. "I’m going to put saltine crackers in mine. We’ll see whose traps work best. "

Bud pushed one of my plastic trapdoors open with his finger. "And what are you going to do with the mice you catch?" He said challengingly.

I shrugged my shoulders. "Release them down the road."

"How will we know we’re not catching the same mice?" he demanded.

I smiled. "You have me there."

Bud held a small box in the air. "The sonic sounds from this will drive the remaining rodents away," he said decisively. I’m going to open a hole in the kitchen wall so they can leave.

"I don’t think sonic sounds work. I tried it with mosquitoes?" I said concerned.

"We’ll see," he grunted.

The next morning Bud’s two guillotine mousetraps and his sonic box were missing but my four Have-a-Heart mousetraps were lined up in a row on the kitchen counter. Each had a mouse in it. He had left them there before he went to work.

I took the four mice down the road and released them in a field. I was fascinated by their different personalities. One jumped out and zoomed into the woods when I opened the trap door. Another crouched down and clung to the back of the plastic container and had to be shaken out. A couple had eaten their crackers. The food of the others remained untouched. A few made a loud grating sound as they gnawed on the plastic container.

They also looked different—some were big and fluffy, others small and delicate, some were more gray others more brown.

When Bud got home from work he sheepishly admitted his sonic box and guillotines had not worked. "I’ve taken them back," he said mournfully. They ate the guillotine’s bait!

To Bud’s surprise he found the mice fascinating to watch and looked forward to finding them in the morning.

Bud plugged all the wall holes around the house roof. "We have around a dozen mice. We’ll catch them in no time!" he predicted.

The next day we caught four more—and the next. The mice kept coming 16 …18 …25. Finally they stopped at 30.

We mourned when they were gone. No more excitement and wonder to see what each mouse looked like and what kind of personality it had. The mice changed the way we view the special connection between ourselves and the rest of the animal kingdom. What we considered a nuisance had become a blessing.

Meeting the mice reminded us of Albert Schweitzer’s words, "By having reverence for life, we enter into a spiritual relation with the world."

We will always cherish the memory of meeting the mice.


Reader Reviews for "Meeting the Mice "


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Reviewed by Cherry Genone (Reader) 11/17/2007
I LOVED this article and welcomed the warm feelings I received while enjoying it. I have been setting "humane" traps for a family of possums living in my own basement. I have caught 2 young possums and 1 large one and released them near the river hoping they may reunite and have more adventures in their natural environment (although many friends have informed me they can find their way home over many miles!!)
Reviewed by Susan Sonnen 4/23/2006

This is heartwarming...thank you for taking the time to share.
Reviewed by Aubrey Hammack 4/22/2006
Niki,

I enjoyed the story. It reminded me of my daughter, Karen. While living in New York, she had the same problem and chose your method.

aubrey

Books by
Niki Collins-Queen



Earth, the Forgotten Temple, A Spirit Quest

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