The Trapper and the Batter

These cold days bring back memories of trapping and working predator control for different ranches around the county. They were long days but ones of much satisfaction. Cold weather makes fur prime, and in my day I was considered a pretty good “wolfer” and a cat trapper. There were many a day that a weary adversary would sometimes outwit me, but I like a challenge, and if it was easy everybody would do it.

Cold weather also brings something else and several of them invaded me and Shannon’s little corner of the range.  I’m talking about  them pesky and somewhat illusive little rodents called mice. We recently moved into a place where we didn’t know we would have roommates.

Shannon has gotten me to be a little more civilized than I used to be, so I couldn’t shoot them with the ole shotgun as they were running thru the house with abandon. She said it would take longer to patch all the holes and repaint and I might run out of bullets. So I went back to my ole trapping methods from many years past. I would cleverly outwit the little long-tailed rodents.

To begin, Shannon wanted to place live traps…to be more humane. “Yes, dear.” I set up traps with a hunk of cheddar and waited.

 So we woke that morning as if it was Christmas and Ole Santa himself had brought presents. But when I rounded the corner to check the traps I found Santa had played a dirty joke. Instead of finding a trapped mouse I found an empty cage, no cheese and a note that read, “Appreciate the cheddar, but next time can you use Swiss?” This was war.

The next night I set out traps like all those times before and used my ole tried and tested bait, peanut butter. And yes these mice do prefer the smooth over the crunchy, it doesn’t make as much noise when they eat it. 

I’ve caught a lot of mice in my time and prefered not to carry a weapon but that morning  my lovely companion armed herself with the broom. At the time it seemed like a novel ideal, but later I realized it was a big mistake!

The first three traps all had done their jobs. All head catches with their beady little eyes bulging out from the pressure of the cold steel latched on their necks, oh what a great sight! Around the corner to the utility room and low and behold a trophy mouse! This ole feller was as big as small opossum, but them Victor mouse traps do a great job and another choking had took place. Back through the door of the utility room to the dark corners of this ole dwelling to where I thought perhaps was the stomping grounds for the entire colony. Sure enough when we opened the door traps were full and mice were leaving like the pony express carrying the mail. I yelled, “Mash you some of them on the way by!” as I was busy trying to stomp them with my boots. I would have hated for someone to see us, me in my long handles and boots and hat and her in a robe and Crocs. I was stomping like a bunch of drunk line dancers and she was swinging that broom like Babe Ruth- bottome of the ninth and two men out.  

Well that was the last thing I remember cause in all the commotion of broom swinging she caught the light and down it came and total darkness filled the room. Now she is the tuffest little women I have ever seen but a dark room and mice is a recipe for panic. She did real good for a while but soon the darkness over took her aim and I was next. She had choked up on that broom like a little league batter swinging for the fence. Me trying to keep her calm didn’t help much at this time and I knew I  standing too close to the batter’s box. All I remember is when I woke up to a flashlight shining in my eyes and a mousetrap hung on my ear and her saying “Sorry but you got in the way.”

Well bruised and stunned, and somewhat amazed at the number of mice in this tribe I set out for more weapons and brought me back some glue boards. “Guaranteed to hold all mice and some rats,” this looked somewhat safer for all parties involved.

Later that day I was sitting on the couch watching a little TV and heard some rustling coming from around the corner. I peered over my shoulder and saw three, big boned, mice with glue boards stuck to their paws. It looked like a team snowshoeing through the tundra of the kitchen.  They were packing canned goods and the latest issue of Westen Horseman. Dirty thieves.

Have you ever seen a mouse running thru the house dragging a glue board on all four feet? Not too graceful. I Had to finish them off with the fireplace poker but all in all we think  we are rodent free…for now.

Now I know you don’t hunt bear with a stick and you don’t wake a dog that is sleeping, but from the knot on my head I did learn one more thing:  make sure and stay out of the way when it is her time to bat!

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