Every now and then over the years we have had mice invade the house. Now I have nothing against mice, I just prefer that they stay in their own habitat – outside.
Some years ago we had a most peculiar experience with one enterprising individual.
I kept a fruit bowl on the kitchen bench filled with bananas, apples, oranges… One morning when I walked into the kitchen, I noticed that an apple had been nibbled. And the tell tale little pellets of mouse poo told me just who was responsible.
This meant all out mouse war. I was not going to have mice munching on our fruit. How dare they! I complained to TRH The Retired Husband). He did the hunter protector thing and set a trap. I don’t do traps. And more importantly, I definitely do not empty them of the impaled carcase. That’s a man’s job.
Sure enough the next morning we had a body. It is well known that where there is one, there will be hundreds more. So another trap was set. Over the course of a week we got one every night.
Part of my extermination plan included putting out baits. And filling entry holes with steel wool. TRH was of the opinion that I would never be able to fill all the holes as mice have an astonishing ability to morph through pin holes. Of course he was right. Nevertheless it made me feel better to at least fill what I thought were the most obvious ones. TRH helpfully listed off the ones he thought were possible entry points – behind the stove, under the kitchen sink… All highly ‘accessible’ places for me to crawl into with steel wool in hand, puffing and panting. I was younger then of course. Job done. Mice disappeared. Or so
we I thought.
Regardless of my war on mice strategies the apple muncher re-appeared. Only this time it had climbed onto the kitchen bench, into the fruit bowl (which was round with slippery sides) and rolled the apple onto the bench! I just had to show TRH. Look at that! How does one teeny tiny little mouse manage to move an apple the size of Uluru ? He shrugged and walked off. He really wasn’t that interested.
However, I was in battle mode. No mouse was going to get away with climbing all over our fruit. So I moved the bowl to another spot. Still in the kitchen. The next morning there was an apple, with nibbles all over it, on the floor, well on the way to a hole in the wall that I hadn’t spotted before. See that? Did it seriously think it would fit the apple through that hole ?! I asked TRH. He was mildly amused by now. I’ll teach it! I’m going to move the bowl – and plug that hole.
Over the course of the following week our fruit bowl moved –
from the kitchen to the dining room table
from the dining room table to the coffee table
from the coffee table to the cabinet shelf
from the cabinet shelf to a side table…
and each time the little bugger found it. Picked an apple. Or an orange. Even a banana. It was always on the floor as if travelling somewhere.
Oh how I wish we had a video surveillance camera to capture it on film. I desperately wanted to see it in action. By this time I had developed a reluctant, albeit healthy respect for the enterprising little fruit munching mouse.
I did finally find a spot in our TV room that it never discovered. Perhaps it had got sick of playing find the fruit bowl and left for richer pickings elsewhere.
© Raili Tanska