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Mouse Attack


“It doesn’t matter what happens to you in life; what matters is how you deal with it.”

I have been invaded by mice. “How can this have happened?” I wondered indignantly. “Here I have just spent three weeks being a good citizen serving as juror on an intense and emotionally draining trial, and this is my reward? A mouse invasion?”

The further horror is that this could have been caused by my bird feeding, which ended several days ago. I have been watching for mice, because my neighbor has been having problems. (“Please don’t let me have caused it,” I prayed. ) Over the weekend I swept out my garage and found not the tiniest sign. But then on Monday morning, I discovered little droppings all over the kitchen counter. There were so many that I wondered if the creatures were extrusion-propelled. They were in a living room window. There were even two inside my bathtub in spite of the tall, slick walls. A desk drawer revealed a stack of unused manila envelopes with the sticky edge nibbled away. Either they like the taste of glue, or they are building a nest nearby.

I am a careful housekeeper to the point of being obnoxious, I have gathered, so this is major. My mind reeled. Where did they gain entry? 

I had many things to do after my weeks in the courtroom, but I immediately cleaned up all the visible droppings and ran by a hardware store and bought mousetraps. Yesterday morning there were only a few droppings, which I could stand, and then today I set about a meticulous clean-up, even vacuuming the inside of the toaster. Upon emptying out the cabinet under the sink, I discovered a possible entry point and stuffed it full of tin foil. I treated with enzymes the place in my desk where they had tinkled, vacuumed everywhere, and washed the tile floors. One might call this fruitless until the mice are gone, but it made me feel better.

My sister once had a mouse problem, and I remember that the creatures she captured were as cute as a button, but cute goes only so far. The man at th hardware store said that they really love Snickers candy bars, so I proceeded to bait the traps accordingly. When they enter, the door will close, and I can take them out in the desert and release them into a new environment. Or is there anybody around here I don’t like? No, can’t think that way.

I have schooled myself to be patient. I learned this from the composting worm, which can transform a mountain of horse manure one tiny mouthful at a time. I will reclaim my home, one captured mouse at a time.

Actually, the mouse invasion has been a blessing. I was pretty burned out after the trial ordeal, and physical labor provided wonderful respite, kind of got me back into balance. It reminded me of a philosophy that I have developed over many complicated years: It doesn’t matter what happens to you in life; what matters is how you deal with it. I will convey that teaching to the mice–when I release them far from home.



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