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It's On. Okay, You Win.

It’s just you and me. Right here. Right now. You think you’ve got all the power because I have already shown my cards, that I am afraid, and hurt, and feeling intimidated. But it ends today, this power struggle, this emotional game. I am stepping up. I just want to say I’m sorry in advance, as this might get ugly.
 
I have a mouse in my house.
Now to be honest he is absolutely adorable as far as mice go. I have dealt with my share of mice and the deer mice are huge and not to be messed with, but this guy, this little tiny house mouse is starting to grow on me, but it wasn’t always this way.
 
I was sitting at the kitchen table one evening, probably writing here, when it happened. He simply came up the carpeted basement stairs, very quietly as they say, and rounded the corner and looked right at me. Then I did what any woman who has grown up with too many 50’s era sitcoms would do, I stood up on my chair and screamed. Not quite Eeekkk! but something pretty close to that, I believe. It’s all a blur. All I know is that I was afraid to come down lest my feet touch the floor where I guess I thought that he would immediately scurry over and run up my leg.
 
He took cover behind the refrigerator when he saw me but I was scared out of my wits because I started imagining a whole clan of them down there setting up camp in my laundry room. What to do? He was obviously the scout, sent to check things out way up at crumb central, too stupid to recognize that lights on means “retreat” –wait until suspect goes to bed. How long has this been going on I kept thinking, that they have gotten to the point, so lax with their reconnaissance operation that they are sending up the uninitiated, the new guy.
 
Fortunately I am prepared for any and all household events. I got the trap, filled it with gourmet peanut butter and put it down beside said appliance, I guess expecting that he would just run right out and dive in. But honestly, would I want to stand there and watch the guillotine descend? No. And, did I really think he was that stupid? No. It’s just that I knew that l was never going to be able to go to sleep until this issue had been resolved. I was a little delirious with shock however, incredulous and somewhat hurt that he had penetrated the airtight fortress that is the concrete flooring under the washing machine, and the two inch wide crevice surrounding it along the wall. What a feat of engineering. Might as well put some cat food down, as the stray cats will be wandering in there any day now, and then I will no longer have a mouse problem. Note to self: secure the perimeter.
 
So after a night spent sure that they were not only in my bed but also racing around the bathroom and tripping each other running up and down the stairs, despite my dog sleeping right next to me, I woke to discover that I had been outsmarted. Shocking, I know. Gourmet peanut butter gone, neck snapper in the upright position. Beautiful.
 
So he and I have kind of become friends now, as the trap seems to have jammed. He is a loner, preferring to snack in the basement now that I have provided him with a food source not requiring the stairs. I see his solitary, telltale little mouse droppings, evidence of his bachelorhood and I am no longer scared. I won’t challenge him. I am not intimidated the way I was when I did my best Lucy Riccardo imitation on the chair. I do not feel that he is my nemesis any longer, in fact I look for him, check the trap every day hoping he is NOT in there, relieved. There now little fella, I say, I’ll get some more peanut butter, as I see you’re out.
 
Perhaps the trap is faulty. (You think?) or maybe I am becoming old and lonely, and soon I will be befriending insects and naming them as well, like a prisoner in solitary, creating my own little world of not entirely imaginary friends. 
 
Funny, it started out as a rivalry, but I caved, or perhaps the broken trap is symbolic in some way, forcing me to stretch my passivity to extraordinary lengths, but at the same time providing me with a distraction, reminding me that there is more than one way to look at a situation. I don’t want to fight with him, or be scared. I no longer have nightmares. In fact, the day the latch skips and he meets his end I might even be a little sad.
I’m not sure how this happened, this change in attitude, but I’m glad it did.
I don’t want to fight,
Not with a mouse,
Not in my house,
Not with a louse,
Or my ex spouse.
I just want to be left alone, well except for all of my little friends. 
Quintesse Quintesse 51-55, F 40 Responses Jul 25, 2012

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Had a snake once. Had a squirrel once. The snake terrified me. The squirrel amused me. The mouse was my friend for a while.

Im almost to that point with some of the lizards that sneak in my house...almost but not really. A lizard is a lizard, no matter how I look at it. Eww. :) So for now, Im still battling with the empty trashcan, the swifter and a broom!

clgsassy, I think this is a silly story, it had me in hysterics when I wrote it, --But you are right, that the underlying theme is that there are always different ways of looking at things. Thanks for getting that/me.

It was during my confrontation with the mouse that I realized that I did not want to live my life feeling afraid and intimidated. I wanted to take control of the situation--not by killing him (although that was my first instinct--make it go away)--but by stopping and seeing it all from a different perspective, that is, how can I handle this in a non-confrontational way? And that is the lesson I taught myself. Maybe saying, "Okay, you win" is not such a bad thing to be able to say and do.
PS--I did actually find myself down on the floor with him one night. We were a few feet apart and I was laying on my stomach and we were staring at each other, and I swear we had a moment...haha.

I
LOVE your
"lilmouse in thehouse
story...so well written...
top layer...
sweet,
funny as hell,
and touching...
beware of level 2...
tears formed in my eyes
as you, the
writer snuck in
and touched my heart...
thanks, clg

Thank you SO much for reading this and for encouraging me with your kind words. I really appreciate it.

Oh, go on...Thank you for bringing me back here. It was fun while it lasted but my friend is gone. I'm a little bit different because of him, my attitude. Turns out he was too small to trigger any of the traps. Just as well. Still, I kind of miss him. I guess Ill never know how he got in or out.
Thanks for reading, and for the compliment. All I need is a little encouragement. Haha.

"Writeaholic" no, an artist. Thank you!

Let's hope Dreamer. I was actually down on the floor eye to eye with him, talking to him (it has been suggested that I am losing it, and I'm not arguing) and I explained that I would miss him, but...it's time. I'm not sure he understood, but at least he listened.

Well, when we last saw our sly friend he was evading the trap, but I ran into him--literally--last night and he is alive and well. But something seems to be a little off. I scared him and he ran, but--like a squirrel--all over the place in a panic--almost into me! But the worst part was when I saw him take a header into the dog's water bowl, so now I think he might very well be disabled, brain damage. Also perhaps blind, as I have never heard mice running towards a person or into furniture. So while I have a state of the art humane trap in place, I am not very confident that he will be able to find his way into it...

Quercus. He is AWOL, and the feeding was with the intent of trapping him. I haven't completely lost it! <br />
But now I have a deluxe humane condo trap all set up--but he is nowhere to be found. Perhaps he got a better gig next door. They are pigs. I'm sure there is food for the taking and plenty of places to hide over there...<br />
I miss him a little though. That I will admit too.

Oh Joyce, Go on, I bet you say that to all the rodent lovers you come across, haha. You cracked me up with this and I always appreciate a chuckle. Thank you for the wonderful compliment too. <br />
PS--we are in the same age bracket. haha It's a pleasure to meet you. Thanks again for reading and for cracking me up. I appreciate it.

This is only the second story of yours I have read.... I am in awe of your writings! I want to be you when I grow up. (not like that would ever happen *smile*) That would be a little difficult I guess because I am older than you in years, but a lot younger than you in writing abilities. You blow me away. Bravo!

Golden One. I like that pixar mouse image too. God, they are cute. That's why they feature in movies and cartoons so much. <br />
The trap has been disabled and I am awaiting the mouse condo/ no-kill contraption that I ordered from amazon. This is turning into quite a production, but yesterday I found the state of the art, deluxe trap I had, fully engaged, but thankfully-- empty, and I got scared. <br />
Operation catch Simeon Mouse is in full swing over here.<br />
He better be blogging about how benevolent and amiable I am or I am going to have to rebut...<br />
Thank you for finding this as amusing as I do.

Oh Quin! You do make me laugh! I always visualise your stories so well - there is a film like quality to them that runs through my head - a kinda mix of Pixar and I love Lucy (50s sitcom scenario) for this one. Well, as he hasn't got a harem down in that ba<x>sement and living his life in solitary bachelorhood, I'm glad the two of you have become friends with a healthy respect of the other! He's probably EPing on his Rodent blog all about you right now! lol :)

ahh I really enjoyed this and I love the nice rhymes at the end so nicely written.They make these mouse traps that are glue and you dab a tiny bit of peanut butter in the middle,catches them everytime and no mess.Just a though,thanks for sharing.

Dear Rob, I will leave you a trail, so you can find us. Follow the peanut butter. He and I are watching the Olympics. There is plenty of room over here, seems we are both loners.

There's no such thing as loners on EP. We all know that by now. You're one of us girlie. And that right there is enough to tell you you're awesome.

M.A.S. I had my membership card laminated.

Hahahahahhaa. You crack me up. I love it ! Yes indeed. Upstanding members of the M.A.S.

Cowboy. Heading out for a HaveAHeart trap as we speak...although I haven't seen him lately...

Funny I have, have a heart traps I think in every size they sell also have a skunk safe trap, yeah I still got sprayed, not funny. I am drawing the line on glue boards for the snakes. Won't be a trap and relocate program for them

I my case I called the police and he came with a special glove and relocated the snake for me. I fell in love with him a little that day--the police officer (SO brave! --the snake tried to bite him), not the snake. I know that snakes exist, I just prefer not to think about them. Good luck with that situation.

My name is Rob, and I love peanut butter. Though I'd probably fall victim to even the most blatant of traps set for me.

With fall right around the corner you might want to start knitting him some sweaters maybe even socks and a scarf. You better just toss the trap, if it ever did catch him you would be devastated

You had me going there for a moment - I had no idea this would be a mouse tale. Great story!

hahaha. Sorry for the scare.

It wasn't a scare....It was great comic relief.

Mice in conventional spring traps and be tough. I'm in the habit of tying the trap to something. They've been known to drag the traps into other rooms. I've got a few fixed ferals that hang out in my yard. They usually give birds dirty looks but bring presents.

I can't talk about traps anymore. He's my friend.

bymypoles, thank you for reading and commenting and good luck with your writing. <br />
<br />
Ven--spider story? I'm on it, but I have to warn you, I am not a big fan of arachnids. Is this going to freak me out? Okay--now you've got me curious. I'm going in...

Sciguy--<br />
This is quite clever. In the past I have used HaveAHeart traps. My mistake--you really do have to take them at least a mile away or they will find their way back. I learned this the hard way. That is how the infestation happened. I will try again, if he comes back. Thank you again. You are always full of great ideas.

In addition to being clever, I thought it was also very simple; not to mention humane. You are correct though - you can't just open the back door and dump them there. Sounds like you have some holes or cracks where they are entering. If you can find these openings, that expanding spray foam in a can works wonders to seal them.

Simple and ingenious, definitely. I am off to buy a HaveAHeart trap which is the size of a shoebox and just shuts when he goes in. Makes for easy transport to said distant wood and I do not have to touch him or dump him out, just open it from behind and watch him scamper away. It might wok better that trying to get him to climb a ramp, I'm thinking. I think he is rather lazy. haha. Thank you, as always for your informative and amusing response.

Eyez. Not much of a spider person here, although I appreciate their contribution to the food chain and the ecosystem; not in the house though. Ironically, a mouse was able to get in and recently a bird (it's still a mystery) but I do not have any insects. I haven't allowed myself to name my friend, and in fact he is currently awol. I guess that's a good thing. Mabye he found a better gig somewhere else.

because blue eyes brought up spiders, I'll link my spider story: <a href="http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Dont-Kill-Insects/549434" target="ep_blank">EP Link</a>

I loved this story You kept me captivated until the end and I want to read more of your writing I right textbookish blogs about serious stuff right now but may go back to the short stories and poetry Thank you for your story

Here's something that might help.<br />
<br />
http://journal.chrisglass.com/2005/09/how_to_catch_a_.html

We once had a little friend who lived in the garage he was tiny as mice go. A neighbor offered some of those glue traps she said they were very effective. I was enraged I couldn't imagine catching the little thing in a glue trap he would be alive and struggling. He/she wasn't bothering anything so my family and I decided we wouldn't do anything. One day I started to take the clothes out of the washing machine a found him in the washer his little life gone. I felt sad he must have been in the dirty clothes basket and I dumped him in the washer.

Glue traps are inhumane and disgusting as a means of rodent irradication if you ask me. I am sorry for your little guy. Consolation? He probably never knew what hit him.

You're so funny. You can borrow the cat, but read my story first, Cat and Mice. You might want to pass on the cat.

Haha, Thanks. I will read, but I am not a big fan of cats in general, being an outdoor bird enthusiast. Still, I will definitely read your story. Thanks.

Awwwww, I never could do harm to a sweet mouse and I'm friends with my spiders too!<br />
You are a good writer and could do it for a living, writing little stories for magazines.<br />
Perhaps you already do?

Haha. I could never do harm to anything either, but...you would have to have lived through an infestation to understand--I really did have snakes at one point when I lived in the woods. It all started with a bear, but that is another story...
I have been known to write.The freelance world is a jungle. Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it.

Dinah--you need to let yourself laugh. I AM tired and lonely. I think that's pretty obvious, as I am talking to mice. I've had the sh*t kicked out of me, so to speak, but... I am... getting... better...every day. <br />
Thank you for reading my stories and for commenting. The sharing is a compulsion with me.

How about we meet in the middle- I smiled at the Dr. Seuss, but found the sorrow in the loneliness......

Deal. I tend to do that, mix the two. Laughing is a way of cleansing the sorrow for me. I do it deliberately, that is, I search for a way to laugh. It is how I cope.

Ying and yang- I like it. A black and white photograph needs all the middle greys in order to make an interesting image, but it starts with both black and white......