Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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

Saturday, May 27, 2017

When It's Raining Mice

Okay, he only looks cute . . .
We lived in the country.
Far out in the country.
We had many people living in our house.
But we weren't the only residents.
Maybe I should describe our other (for lack of a better term) tenants.
They were warm.
And regularly produced offspring.
They routinely got into our food storage.
And created their own comfortable little hideaways. 
Mostly in our walls and dressers.
And they never, ever paid rent.
Oh, and two important points:
1. They were covered with hair.
2. They had tails.
You're right.
We had mice.
Did you know that mice like to nest in clean baby clothes, rendering them un-wearable?
That they climb anywhere?
And can squeeze through really, really tiny holes that it is nearly impossible to bar them from your home?
And they like everything we like.
Especially things that come in a cloth or cardboard package.
And some plastic.
Their standards are not high.In fact, 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 deal 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.
One I think could easily be turned into a horror movie. Hmmm. Attack of the Mice? Or: 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.
Important note: 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.
My husband narrowed his eyes, rolled the magazine he had been reading, and waited.
Okay I will admit that I'm only imagining the narrowed eyes.
But this is my story. I'll tell it how I want . . .
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 it couldn't possibly get back. Then he attacked.
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) it fell with a plop into my lap.
Grant scooped it up, quickly dispatched it, 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?
P.S. We did solve our mouse problem. We moved.


  1. We've had the occasional one get in..usually piggybacking on some item that came in the house. One got in my tea towel drawer and shredded my oven mitts. WE live trapped a couple then gave in and had the house baited by the pest control folks. "MOUSE....THE SEQUEL"

  2. We had a few in our cottage one winter - they lived on old candles and upholstery fluff ...

    I admire Grant's patience and your equilibrium!

  3. I lived through a mouse plague. And still shudder remembering.
    Hooray for Grant's incredible aim.

  4. Moving sounds like the best of all possible solutions. I'm glad I don't have mice where I am, there are too many cats and lizards around, mice just wouldn't survive.
    Grant is pretty speedy with a rolled up magazine.

  5. Moving sounds a good solution.

    We last had an unexpected visitor in 2015

    All the best Jan


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