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Speakin' of Mouse Traps... a mouse story.

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I think I posted this a few years ago, but @Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984's "Mouse Trap" thread sparked the memory.  So....  :rolleyes:


The Giant Mouse of Solano County


     “We have a mouse.”

     With that simple, four-word phrase, the Now-Former-Missus-Hardpan made a compound declaration:

     1). We have a problem.  By “we,” she really meant “I,” herself, had a problem, therefor “WE,” including ME, have a problem.

     2). I (meaning herself), was not happy; therefore YOU (meaning me) had a new priority in life.


     3). I (now meaning me), was responsible for addressing the situation post haste.

     All in all, I couldn’t blame her.  Few people harbor a stronger dislike for mice than me.  The diminutive representative of the Order of Rodentia and I have a long and antagonistic history that I will not elaborate on here.


      “No problem!” I declared.  I immediately procured a “new old stock” Victor mousetrap from a box in the garage, baited it with the never-fail, irresistible combination of bread and Skippy Peanut Butter (Crunchy, of course!), and placed it strategically in front of the refrigerator – the site of the “mouse sign” discovered by the Now Former Missus.

     Now… just a matter of waiting and the problem would be solved!

     With that, we set about our respective nighttime routines – me puttering about for a bit then changing into my jammies and climbing in to bed; she changing into scrubs and packing her “lunch” for work – the night shift in the Emergency Room of the local hospital. [Note – for some reason, they don’t seem to like the term “graveyard shift” in hospitals.]

     Eventually, I had tucked myself in, was snuggled cozily in bed reading a book when the Now Former Missus walked in to give me a quick smacker and wish me “good night” before heading off to deal with the results of the latest session of the Vallejo Friday Night Knife and Gun Club.

     Just as she was about to leave, we heard a definitive “Snap!” from the kitchen.

     With a gleeful smile, she declared “You got your mouse!”

     I sprang out of bed and we darted into the kitchen to claim our prize.


     Huh!  Where the heck’s the mousetrap??  It was gone!

     After a moment of searching, we found it across the room, behind the roll-away dishwasher.


     What the heck?

     Suddenly… “Shh!”  the NFM said.  “I hear ‘im!”

      “Huh?  You hear him? What… squealing in agony?”

      “No!  I hear him walking! Now ‘Shh’!”

      “Don’t be silly.  You can’t hear a mouse walking – they’re quiet as a mouse! That’s why they call ‘em ‘Mice!’”

      “No!  I HEAR him!” she declared, and with me closely following, walked across the kitchen and stepped down into the laundry room, snapping on the light as she did so.  She paused, listening intently, then leaned over the washer and dryer, lifting the re-chargeable flashlight from its cradle and shined it behind the appliances, playing the beam over the area where I had been repairing a wall.

      “There he is!” she declared.

     I looked over her shoulder, just in time to see the last nine inches or so of an ugly, bare, tapered tail drawn into a hole in the plastered area.

     After a moment of stunned gazing, I turned and opened the back door.

      “Where ya going?” she asked.

      “To the garage to get a gun!  That ain’t no mouse… that’s the biggest bleeping RAT I’ve ever SEEN!”

     Well, I fetched my pellet gun in to the house, loaded it, and propped it next to the bed.  the NFM left for work, and I crawled back into bed, destined for a night of poor sleep.  I was plagued by dreams of myself in an Alamo-type setting, surrounded by the entire Rodent Corps, feeling envious of The Boy Who Drew Cats as the haunting melody of a young Michael Jackson singing “Ben” echoed in my head.  We actually had three cats at the time, but I felt quite sure that if they encountered The Beast, they would be single-handedly outnumbered, outclassed, and possibly in mortal danger.  Come to think of it, even our two dogs, Woody and Sandie, would likely be the underdogs in such a meeting.

     Bright and early the next morning, I arose, dressed, and by the time the NFM found her way home I had made a trip to the hardware store for a Victor RAT trap. One of the BIG ones, capable of hurting fingers and toes. When she arrived, I proudly showed her where I’d set the trap – baited with bread and peanut butter, of course – behind the washer and dryer, evidently his choice of entrance and egress.

     We were safe!

     That evening, we were sitting on the sofa, enjoying a superb supper of Chinese take-out and watching Jeopardy on TV.  My pellet rifle leaned against the nearby door frame. Woody and Sandy lounged on an area rug, each with a chew toy, and a couple of cats lounged nearby.

      About halfway through the meal, the NFM’s head suddenly swiveled to me and with a burst of anxiety she asked “Where do you think that giant mouse might be right now?”

     Kinda resenting having my supper and Jeopardy interrupted with a silly question, I rejoined with “Oh, ya never know…!  Why, he might be right behind this very couch, at this very moment!”

      “OH!  We better look!”

     Drat.  Why couldn’t I have kept my mouth shut until after supper?

      “Okay.  We’ll look right after we’re done eating and after Jeopardy’s over.”

      “NO!” she said, an expression of alarm and anxiety plastered across her face.  “We need to look NOW!”

     Recognizing from her tone that supper was officially over – at least until I demonstrated that we were safe – I sighed, and said “Oh, Hell.  All right.  You get a flashlight and stand by the end of the sofa; I’ll lean over, grab the back, and when I pull and lean it toward me, you look.”

      “Okay! Let’s do it!”

     She leaped to her feet and scurried to the end of the sofa, scooping up a handy torch.  I sighed again, stood, turned around, leaned over and grasped the back of the piece.

      “Ready?” I asked.

      “Yes!  Let’s do it.  NOW!”

     I shook my head, and leaned back, lifting the furnishing away from the wall as she bent over with her flashlight on, peering into the freshly opened cavern.

     She gasped, let out a most un-humanlike shriek, then screamed “THERE HE IS! OMIGAWD, THERE HE IS!”

     I yelped and dropped the couch.  She screamed, and the BEAST charged from it’s no-longer-secluded hidey-hole.  Sandie started ‘Yipe-yipe-ing’ and running in circles.  Woody stood and ‘Woofed!” a bit, unable to focus on the high-speed action with his cataract clouded eyes but still wanting to contribute.  The two cats sprang up and hissed and yowled.  I snatched up my pellet gun, but was unable to draw a bead on the not-so wee beastie in the cyclone of wife, rat, cats and dogs – despite her repeatedly screamed commands to “Shoot it!  Shoot it!” 

     Oh crap.  I tossed the pellet rifle onto the love seat, grabbed the fireplace shovel, and joined the chase, with each whap! just missing sending the creature off to Cheeseland.

     Finally, and to my utter amazement, it seemed to dive right through the louvered sheet metal of the furnace, and disappeared into the wall.  I studied that fixture at length afterward, and never did understand how it could squeeze in; seemed as unlikely as a horse fitting into the doghouse.  But it did. 

     After a few minutes, the tempest of wife, cats, and dogs waned with exhaustion.  Three or four of us flopped onto the couch; the others pretty much dropped where they found themselves, everyone panting and all eyebrows raised.

      “Well… obviously, he has more than one entry point!” I said.

     Eventually we returned to our normal evening routine.  The NFM went off to work, I went to bed, and all the critters slept with one eye open, except for their frequent nighttime patrols.  I seem to recall having joined them in a couple of those patrols that night.

     Next morning it was back to the hardware store.  This time I stocked up on an additional half-dozen Victor rat traps. The BIG ones; the ones that can break fingers or toes.

     I baited ‘em and studiously placed them all in places the “not-so wee beastie” could wander, but where the cats and dogs would not.  And placed two of ‘em behind the sofa, back-to-back, to cover both possible directions of entrance.

     The NFM came home from the “office,” and I showed her the locations of the traps.  She had a short nap, then up for the day, as she was off that night and wanted to be able to sleep.  We did Sunday kinds of things, and saw no sign of the Beast.  A nice Sunday supper, watched TV and read for a while, then off to bed.  She would have Monday off, but I had a long day ahead of me. 

     We read our books for a while, said our “goodnights,” then lights off.  Just starting to doze when suddenly there was a loud “SNAP!” just on the other side of the wall by our heads – where the sofa was positioned.  Immediately, there was a very audible squealing… abruptly silenced by a second “SNAP!”

      “OMIGOSH!  We GOT ‘im!” I said.

     We both bounded out of bed; I grabbed a softball bat and the NFM a flashlight, and we cautiously made our way into the living room, snapping on lights as we went, a couple of cats and dogs trailing cautiously behind.

     She positioned herself in a line with the sofa – but not too near – while I grabbed an armrest and pulled the furnishing away from the wall.

      “There he is!” she exclaimed. “And he’s DEAD!”

     I looked… and sure ‘nuff, he was done in. It took two full-sized Victor rat traps – the BIG ones, that can mangle and remove fingers and toes – to bring him down, but he was a goner.

      “Okay,” I said. “I’ll be right back!  I’m gonna go get a garbage bag and a shovel and we’ll get him outta here.”

     I did, and we did… we both remarked on his size and coloring.  Not only was he HUGE (we estimated about six pounds), but oddly colored. If he was a horse, I would have called him a “paint.”  Multi-colored; actually quite handsome, as giant mouses go.

     But we slept well that night – all of us… the intruder was no more, and the danger was past.

     Next day:  Just before noon my desk phone rang.  I answered, and it was the NFM.

      “Well,” she said, “I’ve spent all morning cleaning – hitting every place that creature could have been with a strong bleach solution.

      “And guess what!”

      “Uh… I give up,” I replied.  “What?”

      “Well,” she continued. “I moved the entertainment center away from the wall [no mean feat for a girl – that thing was heavy!]  And… there was another one, dead in the trap you’d put there!”

     Oh CRAP!  Was there a colony of the animals?  Hopefully it was only a mating couple, and hopefully we’d gotten ‘em before they were successful in that mating.

     A few days later, Thursday, as I recall, I had another call from her.

      “Guess what?” she asked.

      “Oh no…” I groaned.  “Don’t tell me we have another ‘visitor!’”

      “Nope.” She said.

     She continued, “I was outside with the dogs when Merle [our next door neighbor] looked over the fence.  I was talking to him for a while, when he suddenly asked ‘Hey, you guys haven’t seen any rats around, have ya?  My two pet Fancy Rats got out last week and I haven’t seen ‘em since!’”

      “Oh NOoo… you didn’t tell ‘im, did ya?”

      “Oh HECK no!  Poor guy – but now we know!”

     We sure did.


Postscript:  About a month later, she again called me at work.

      “Guess what?” she asked.

      “I’m almost afraid to ask,” I sighed.  “But go ahead.”

      “Well…” she continued.  “Merle saw me over the fence a few minutes ago… and asked if we could keep our eyes open – his pet boa constrictor got out, and – ”




Edited by Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967
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Great story!! But screw the pellet gun and shovel; it's now time for the '97 and a full mag. with a box of shells next to it.:ph34r:

Edited by Eyesa Horg
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My best friend and a fellow co-worked at City Hall and I bought an old camp/cottage in Quebec. It was made of huge cedar logs, not laid horizontally, but vertically, palisade style and had a large natural stone fireplace with a lot of holes, nooks and crannies.

Our wives went to bed early, (no electricity, just a propane light system, and Bill and I sat up with a bottle of good Irish, to plan what we were going to tackle first in our renovation scheme.

Being a little chilly that spring, and the wood stove was going out, we decided to try the fireplace, which unfortunately had those nooks and crannies I mentioned, that were the residences of a horde of mice that took exception to a fire in the fireplace and decided to vacate.

An exciting time was had by all and our wives, while understanding, were not too happy about the manner in which they were awoken!

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the first half of your story describes my life all winter here - there is most always one of those pesky little beasts in our house and i have a regular trap line i run every day , sometimes she tells me we have one but wont say where so i still have to trek all 3000sf and check all dozen traps i have strategically placed to catch them but not the curious dog , 


i had not thought of the snake - i rather dislike them , but we both , not being cat lovers , considered adopting the one that showed up here and wanted to take up residence - even the dog thought it was a good idea , he gets lonely when we are gone , but being the good citizens we are we located the neighbor doewn the street that was missing it and returned it , they were happy , 


so were the mice that continue to find their way in periodically , i kill - no ill not return them to the wild , there are plenty out there - about six a month on average over the winter , not making a big dent in the surpluss population but i am keeping the wife happy , our food safe , and in my mind saving us of the responcibility of both a cat and a dog , ..................we both hate snakes 

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