It began with a rustling in the walls. Then glimpses out the corner of my eye.

Then I saw one.

A mouse. In. My. Kitchen.

I went on red alert and did…well, pretty much nothing. I considered telling the apartment office that I had mice, but I just figured they would charge me pet rent.

So, I covered my butter, swept up my crumbs, and figured I’d live and let live. The uninvited guests didn’t worry me, and really, since I didn’t have any traps, I didn’t feel like making a special trip to the high-scale dollar store. (Did you know you can’t get out of there without paying $1.08? I mean, what kind of false advertising is that?)

And then came the day I found craters in my taters.

Pretty sure I left skid marks in front of Dollar Tree.

That night, I voluntarily shared my food with my vermin roommates Tom, Dick, and Harry. I gave each of them cheese…on a wooden plater with a taut wire frame around one side.

Fifteen minutes after setting out their late-night snack, I heard a snap.

RIP Tom. (Bonus: the cheese was untouched.)

The next morning, I found that Dick had come looking for the potatoes and had instead found Tom in the vermin afterlife.

Harry, though. He was a crafty fellow. I heard him night after night, and each morning when I checked my traps like a mountain man in need of cash, they remained poised.

It was time to unloose the heavy artillery. I uncapped my precious peanut butter.

And dear ol’ Harry nibbled it clear off the trap with nary a snap.

(Now that I think about it, maybe I have more than mouse problems…. Could a mouse really do that?)

When the day came that I heard a Harry-sized snap, I danced a little jig. (Inwardly, of course. I honored his sacrifice and long life by maintaining a solemn expression and not clapping my hands.)

But let me tell ya, Harry’s mouse soul now haunts that trap.

Picture this: I’d previously used a screwdriver and pliers to do the dirty work and reset the trap. Everything had been done so precisely and orderly.

The inward jig I did at Harry’s demise became the fright hop at his funeral. No sooner was the late-Harry off and buried (in my trash can), I had a new measure of peanut butter in place, and was calculating a new battle position when the trap turned on me with a snap. No fingers were in the way, but now my peanut butter was compromised. Fifteen minutes and half a dozen snaps later, the tools were cast aside, peanut butter was all over my hands, and I was murmuring, “Touché” to Harry’s earthly remains.

Finally, following an ample distribution of Hantavirus all over my kitchen, I replaced the trap. It’s been a whole week, and neither Harry’s ghost nor his relatives have set off the trap.

And I’ve not heard a peep or a rustle.

Dare I get hopeful? Because if my mouse problem is under control, I now need to figure out if I should report this new smell that I’ve been detecting since I got new neighbors a floor below. Now my apartment smells like a skunk got scared and lit a cigarette. Hmm, I wonder what they could possibly be smoking downstairs….

In other news, I’m moving out in a couple months. And I’m taking my traps with me.

3 thoughts on “Peace and War: a Tale of Three Mice

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