Saturday, 18 June 2011

The Mice Are Back

Well, OK, just one mouse. One mouse is plague enough. After multiple captures a week ago, there was a respite, and then yesterday one incautious creature got his left back foot caught in one of those newfangled plastic rocker-motion traps. That's the problem. The old-style metal-spring devices - on a wooden base if it's the real traditional kind - managed to despatch the catchee in one snap. Mus musculus Wikipedia says "often kept as a pet." Hmm.
 But these newer traps do from time to time merely grab a paw and hold it fast, apparently with no permanent damage. A simple one-handed action to release the plastic jaws of inconvenience and ouch, and the released mouse will scamper off muttering very rude things. This has happened, more or less by accident.What to do? I am mindful that locals were horrified when, eight years ago, as a newcomer to this farming area, I released a couple or three mice back into the wild - and this is a region which has experienced rodent plagues as the real thing.

Yes, I cannot in public spirited duty let mice go about their business of invading human habitat. There are no available animal shelters or retirement homes for surplus mice. With a cowardly effort to avoid looking them in eye, I do, after all, despatch live beasts which use the trap facilities inefficiently. It's quick and clean, and I draw a view over the actual process. I apologise herewith to all the ex-mice who have come my way, and I ask your successors to stay away from my immediate living quarters.

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