The girl plucks the tick off the ear of her schnauzer and puts it in a matchbox. Instead of throwing the tick box into the wood burning stove she blows on the slot and whispers something like, “Don’t worry. I’ve got you, mother.”
You see, this girl belongs to one of those exotic Eastern religions that won’t let you kill or eat anything with a face. And yes, king crab definitely has a face. You just have to know where to look.
So, instead of glue traps, electrocution traps or traditional style guillotine traps, this gal captures mice with no-kill traps and whisks them down the road many miles away, all the while whispering, “Don’t worry. I’ve got you mother.”
She sets them free where they will have a chance. Someplace where there is probably a bigger, maybe even better, mouse colony. After all, mice are people, too.
Even the Mouse Whisperer has trouble distinguishing mice, so we have taken to spray painting them blue. If they come back we recognize them.
And come back they have. The results are startling. Mice have returned to the house after more than a month on the road. Some have come back from 10, 15 miles away. These puppies really prefer home sweet home to anything new, no matter how well colonized.
Ten miles is a lot of steps for a tiny blue mouse. If they take four steps per inch they are taking 253,440 steps to go just one mile. That’s 2,534,400 steps for one blue mouse to go ten miles. Remarkable!
Mice are nesters. As a matter of fact, most mice don’t travel more than 25 feet from the nest for their whole life. Our experimental mice have broken the mold.
Now the mouse game is getting fun. I have taken to putting distinguishing markings on them and given them names like, “Mickey,” “House Mouse,” “Sasquatch,” and “Kitty.” We have a running bet and keep tabs on who comes back from where. I am up $8-$5. We play for cold, hard cash.
I have a friend who is really into engineering and he has been rigging up stuff like LED lights, head cams and glow-in-the-dark booties for our little friends. Did you know that mouse urine glows under black lights?
We put one across the river in a tiny lifejacket. It came back in two days!
There have been some technical difficulties so far with the head cams but the microphones have picked up sound that resembles elephants charging more than a tiny mouse marking 2,534,400 steps, only to get trapped again by the Mouse Whisperer. If you get down there at mouse level, evrything sounds really big.
The ones that make it back don’t look haggard or tired. To the contrary they have little drumstick thighs and bright eyes full of mischief. One doe, who we call “Pinky,” weighed in at a full ounce after her ordeal. That’s bordering on obese for a mouse but maybe she’s preggers.
Who knows what happens to the ones that don’t return? Maybe they are gobbled up by falcons but just maybe they find muskrat love in a brand new community. That would please the Mouse Whisperer.
Who knows where this will all lead but living in the country gives folks like us a chance to play God with Mother Nature. As long as no one gets hurt I figure it should be okay.
As I write this I hear the trap doors fall. Upon inspection I see that “Chloe,” is back. She’s kinda cute with her long, pointy snout, small round ears, body length scaly tail, drumstick thighs, blue highlights and a headlamp. I’ll give her a little extra peanut butter and check the battery before I drop her off deep in the heart of the Experimental Forest. Chloe, like those who have gone before her is fighting the odds but at least she has a chance.
Now the score is 9-5. I’m making bucks off bucks.
Steve Skinner notes that male mice are called “bucks” by those in the scientific community. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.