Mouse

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Mouse

  1. stewartparker

    When I first saw the word, I thought of the actual animal. You know, cute, round ears, a tail, little finger-like hands and feet. It was not until I thought about it for a second that I realized that I was holding something else of that same name as I was looking at my computer. Like I always do. Every day. I can’t remember the last time I saw one of the cute little guys, in a field, in my house (thankfully), not even in a pet store. But I see this other stupid one, and countless, nameless, lifeless ones like it, all day, every day, everywhere I go.

    By the time my kids are my age, will they ever think of the animal version? Will they even know what animals are? These computers and technological gadgets we hold near and dear like appendages. Nature is forgotten, left outside, where it belongs. We live our lives in a perpetual state of the same stale air, stale office, stale assignments, stale everything. 68 degrees, all year round, regardless of the weather. Under a fluorescent sun. Mindless zombie drones that come to “life” when plugged into our designated workspaces.

    When I was ten, we caught one in a live trap in our basement. I remember hearing its claws against plastic. Wondering if he was scared. Wondering if he even ate the piece of caramel candy that had enticed him in there in the first place. We put on shoes and took him to a field by the elementary school. When we let him go, he seemed so free and small, curious, and harmless, I was almost overwhelmed. It was just one of those moments you never forget. I felt at one with nature. At one with myself. At one with this little creature. It was beautiful.

    Where will those moments be for the children of the future? Glued to the TV. Linked to the computer. Perpetually plugged in and constantly “entertained.”

    I can already hear myself telling the stories and sounding like I am a hundred years old: “You know, back when I was your age, before the cementification of the planet, yes, right around the time dinosaurs were roaming the earth, sometimes you would actually see real, live animals. I’m serious. Not on TV or the computer, either. Right there in your own backyard.”

    And they will never believe me.

  2. Surly Temple

    Last year I had an *infestation*. I was blithely minding my own business and went to grab a bag of pasta from the cupboard, and there was nothing in it. It had been GNAWED. Further investigation showed that a mouse had taken up residence and felt that it was having a pretty good life, what with the pasta and the Ghiradelli and marzipan and various other delicacies it could find in my pantry. I did not overreact; I merely began screaming about the hanta virus and commenced washing everything that could be washed in bleach, throwing out everything else, and buying both D-con and a sonic mouse-driver-away-thingie that the guy at the hardware store swore works. (He is full of crap, by the way. It’s supposed to emit an inaudible to humans noise that is aggravating to the mice and so they leave. These mice used it as an anthem to their maurauding.)

    Three days later there was a mouse corpse in the basement, and I was happy. I returned the food to the cabinet and felt safe again. Then the next night I moved a can of tomatoes and there was ANOTHER mouse corpse. IN THE PANTRY. NOT JUST LIVING HANTA-VIRUS MICE, BUT A DEAD, DISEASE-CARRYING POISONED CORPSE IN MY PANTRY.

    I’m no Ellery Queen. I do not handle the incidence of dead things in a dwelling with sangfroid.

    While I thought about boarding up the pantry and never going there again, instead I just threw everything out completely, lived like a shopkeeper with food on the counter where I could see and monitor it, and waited for signs of death or desertion.

    I’m still a little paranoid about it.

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