Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



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Thursday, November 17, 2011

World's Worst Tenants

Okay, he looks cute here . . .

We lived in the country.
Far out in the country.
There were many people living in our house.
But we weren't the only tenants.
The others were warm.
And breathing.
And regularly produced offspring.
But there, the similarities ended.
They routinely got into our food storage.
And made their own comfortable little hideaways in our walls and dressers.
And never, ever paid rent.
They were also covered with hair.
And had tails.
You're right.
We had mice.
Did you know that mice like to nest in clean baby clothes, rendering them un-wearable?
And can squeeze through really, really tiny holes?
Climb anywhere?
So it is nearly impossible to bar them from your home.
And they like everything we like.
Flour.
Sugar.
Oatmeal.
Beans.
Grains.
Cereal.
Cookies.
Any form of treats.
Actually anything that you might find in the average food storage that comes in a cloth or cardboard package.
And some plastic.
They have even been known to burrow into boxes of Kraft dinner or bags of Ramen noodles, which we all know have no nutritional value whatsoever.
We learned to live with them.
Trap them when we could.
Even poison some when we were truly desperate.
But still they kept coming.
We found 'mice tracks' in our clean bedding. On the shelves. On top of the TV. Even on the kitchen counters.
It was a nightmare.
Which I think could easily be turned into a horror movie.
Hmmm. Attack of the Mice? The Teeth That Could Chew Through Anything?
How about: The Really Annoying Things in the Walls?
Okay, I'm out. What are your suggestions?
Moving on . . .
My Husby and I were in bed, drifting at the edges of sleep.
Well, I was, he was reading a magazine.
Suddenly, he spotted movement.
I should explain here, that our temporary bedroom was in the basement and our bed was shoved into the corner formed by the meeting of two cinder-block walls.
Mice can climb cinder block walls.
And I was the person sleeping next to the wall.
Enough exposition.
My husband turned his head sharply and the mouse climbing up the corner, inches from my head, immediately dove for cover.
Huh. My husband rolled the magazine he had been reading and waited.
Soon, his patience was rewarded.
Our intrepid little explorer (see how refined I am? I could have called him *&^%$#@!!!) started, once more, upwards.
This time, Grant waited until the mouse was high enough on the wall that he couldn't possibly get back. Then he attacked.
SWAT! With the rolled-up magazine.
He got it!
The stunned mouse fell.
Right onto my chest.
The edges of sleep vanished as I gasped and sat up.
Whereupon (good word) he fell with a plop into my lap.
Grant scooped him up, quickly dispatched him, and then turned the most apologetic face to me that I have ever seen.
And all I could do was laugh.
What else can you do when it starts raining mice?
Indoors.

P.S. We did solve our mouse problem.
We moved.

3 comments:

  1. When we lived on the farm a mouse made a nest in my sisters bottom drawer. I can still see mom dashing around the bedroom with a broom, whack! whack!.. She got it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Diane, this is one time when I'm afraid laughing would not have worked for me. I would have been hysterical, crazy, and totally freaked out. They would have had to call the ambulance so that the paramedics could CPR me back to life! No way, Jose! I could not have lived through a mouse "landing." :) When we lived in the Caribbean, the occasional mouse or two would get inside the house but we were relentless until we captured it. Thank goodness you moved! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Eeeekkk, I shouldn't have read that...lol. Getting shivers....

    ReplyDelete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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