Mouse and Trap

I failed to construct a better mousetrap yesterday. Wait . . . scratch that. I successfully built a Fudd-ian wabbit twap that failed to capture a tiny field mouse nibbling at my doorstep. Now this should not have surprised me as old Elmer could never really catch Bugs, but once again I allowed reason and science to usurp the omniscient truth of Loony Tune logic:

1) Traps will never catch rabbits but will always catch something: a bear, a bomb, your foot.

2) Gravity does not exist unless you acknowledge it.

3) A giant rubber band trumps rocket propulsion

4) Nothing is impossible as long as it’s funny.

Say hello to my little friend . . .

Nevertheless the assembly amused me greatly as well as provided ample excuse to ignore my assignments for another half-hour (Web surfing had grown dull). Collecting some string, a pencil, and a small bin, I constructed my simple twap and after setting some pistachio nuts underneath waited patiently in my chair like Jaws’ Quint for the beasty to take the bait.

The Trap is Set . . .

I should note here that I do not relish killing animals, lest you think I am an ignorant buffoon unaware of the various lethal traps, glue, and shotguns available to combat rodents. Buffoon perhaps, ignorant no. My mother and the vast majority of the 4-H attending siblings take great satisfaction (or at least no remorse) in killing mice, a characteristic I imagine common to children raising Ms. Piggy for prize money, fresh bacon, and the continued abundance of Slim Jims. From their standpoint mice contaminate household food; ruin livestock feed; and retain fleas, famous for biting, itching, and breeding plague every so often. Although never possessing much of a palate for disease, I nevertheless take a much more Buddhist approach towards animals and even pests – except flies or mosquitoes, for even benevolence has its limits – lest Karma strike me down or I inadvertently whack a reincarnated great-great-great-uncle simply because we share a love for the same brand of Irish cheddar.

I waited anxiously in my chair for several minutes, staring at the gap where the mouse had departed only moments before, the line tight in my hand. Beads of water began streaming down my face (I had just showered, you see). Another minute passed. Another yawn. At this point my AADS was ready to throw in the towel, when the mouse bolted from its hiding place. Ignoring the pistachio nuts and leaping past my trap, it raced across the tile seeking a haven under my desk, yet anticlimactically trapping itself there. No gap or hole through which to escape, I scooped up the little guy in a bin and dropped him outside. Game over, no foul.

Game, set, match.

Aesop once wrote a story about a lion and mouse. He believed that all kindness is eventually rewarded in some way. Aesop was both a Greek and a realist. We Irish never had Aesop; we had Murphy. And Murphy was an optimist. Murphy believed that no good deed no matter how small or insignificant goes unpunished. Thus, in case my readers should think that I might be thanked in some mouse-y way, presented with a cheese wheel or freed from a cannibal’s net, think again. Such superstitions exist only in old tales. Mice will not help you accomplish any Herculean tasks or transmute straw into gold. Moreover, kissing a mouse will not produce some fairy princess or free a beautiful ensorcelled maiden. The few fur fibers left on my swollen purple tongue are proof enough of that.

Murphey’s Law for Children Young and Old: Do not attempt to kiss any unfamiliar man, woman, mouse or toad unless it audibly asks you to.