“If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk. When you give him the milk, he’ll probably ask you for a straw…” and on and on the story goes.
I spent many nights reading the book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Joffe Numeroff to my children. That was until I found a mouse in our house.
When we first moved in, the owner said he thought that there might have been a mouse running around the house. I couldn’t blame a mouse for taking residency up in this big house that had been empty for a time. Certainly once we moved in, this mouse would want to move out of the house to make room for a family of seven, or so I thought.
The mouse seemed to move away for awhile, we never saw “hide nor hair” of him. For lack of a better word, we didn’t see any traces of him for two years. This past spring, I found my daughter saying to me, “Mom, when I get up in the morning and am getting ready for school, I hear a noise in the wall.” I chalked it up to the fact that if I got up a 5:30 a.m. to get ready for high school like she did, I would probably hear things, too. But apparently, the mouse had given up most of my house to move into the wall.
On a random evening, when perhaps in addition to giving myself a cookie or two, I should have given myself a glass of wine, I moved a laundry basket and found the markings of a mouse. Now, before you judge me for not realizing earlier that something was getting under the shelves which hold my laundry baskets and leaving little droppings, let me say this. My laundry baskets never really leave their place in the laundry room. There came a time when I realized it is easier for the children to pull the clothes they want to wear out of a basket of clean clothes in the laundry room rather than for me to place them neatly folded in their room. As children got older, I suddenly learned that if you give your child folded laundry it will never be put away. All the clothes that have been washed will only end up back in the dirty clothes basket without ever being worn.
When I realized that there was a mouse in my house, I couldn’t help but think about all of the things that I have read about the diseases that they carry. Since becoming a full-time “real newspaper staff writer,” I have realized that facts are much more important than just a mom saying, “Because I said so.”
A few months ago, I would have said a mouse or a rat is gross because I am a mom, and I know things. Now as a news reporter, I can spew off facts from the CDC and the WHO (Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization, in case you need confirmation on the official names of these organizations) to back up my claim.
We went to work to drive the mouse out of our house. I was clueless that peanut butter and mouse traps would be involved. I was more than willing to negotiate a trade with this mouse who was trying to occupy my house. Why couldn’t the mouse move into the beautiful playhouse in our backyard and give me and the kids the big house? The negotiations never really got anywhere.
Let me just say this – forget the cookie thing from the book because apparently rodents really like peanut butter. This mouse was bigger than what I would consider to be a “cute little thing” but smaller than a guinea pig. How do I know? Because the day after we caught the thing in a trap, the children’s father got them a hamster and my friends gave them a guinea pig.
Apparently, we are destined to have not one rodent in our house, but two. We are now the proud owners of “Gizmo” the hamster and “Drakie” the guinea pig.
To read more about the adventures of a mom, six kids, a dog, a hamster, and a guinea pig to www.tlhmoms.com or read about them on facebook at www.facebook.com/tlhmoms.com. Note: You can send emails about how cruel and inhumane catching a mouse who roams around your house is to firstname.lastname@example.org.