Last Friday night I reported how we found a little visitor at the Manse when we arrived: a mouse named Mouse who’d left a trail of droppings in the pantry and who was later spotted dashing behind the fridge. We got straight to work on Saturday, with Raymond carefully examining the mousetrap section at the Madoc Home Hardware and deciding on two packages of what is billed as The Better Moustrap. At the totally excellent (and new to us) Food Company store in Tweed we bought some of the health-food-store peanut butter that I adore – ground-up peanuts and nothing else – and it wasn’t just for me and my toast: peanut butter is, Raymond informed me, what’s best to put in the trap.
(That theory has been disputed by commenter Scott of the excellent blog Meats, Roots and Leaves [meatsrootsandleaves.com; check out his post on good places to eat in sundry parts of the world – London, Istanbul, Washington and Perth, Ont., among others; or the one on making your own steak sauce, inspired by Montreal’s Joe Beef restaurant], who says mice can nab the peanut butter without getting trapped. He recommends sunflower seeds, shells still on, glued to the trap. Next time!)
So we – okay, Raymond – set the traps Saturday night with high hopes. One was by the fridge where Mouse had last been seen; one was by the stove in the pantry where Mouse’s poop had been all too in evidence. Next morning we awoke to find that Mouse had (as Scott suggests, actually) managed to get some of the peanut butter and snap the trap, but escaped unscathed. Drat.
But we reset the traps and continued to hope. And by Monday morning, I’m afraid the bell had tolled for Mouse: there he was, upside down and dead as a doornail (what is a doornail, anyway?) in the trap by the fridge.
We are hoping that Mouse was a lone visitor, but everyone in Queensborough tells us that mice in the house are very common in the area as the weather gets colder, and that we’d better brace for more. So the traps have been set again.
But meanwhile – and I blame this more on the lack of delivery of a morning newspaper than anything else; deprived of his usual occupation while enjoying his morning coffee, Raymond was at loose ends – I awoke Saturday morning to discover that my husband had turned poet – or, more precisely, purveyor of doggerel – thanks to Mouse and the ladybugs and the wasps/hornets and the livestock generally that we’ve had to deal with since we bought the Manse. Here is Raymond’s early-morning composition:
There’s a Mouse in the House
There once was a house called the Manse
Where creatures would come just to dance
There were ladybugs and hornets
All wearing fine bonnets
Believing they were there to enhance.
One day little droppings were spotted
On the stovetop where pots had been potted:
Scooting straight ‘cross the floor
To the fridge, round the door,
Was a fat little thing that was cornered.
(By the way, if you have ever heard Raymond’s Boston-area accent you’ll realize that “potted” and “cornered” can rhyme better than you might think.)
Don’t think that we don’t like mice
Domesticated, they’re usually quite nice.
But when it comes to the food
And Raymond’s in a mood
No mouse in the house gets the rice!
And indeed, SNAP! is doubtless the last thing Mouse heard. Poor Mouse.
I hope he got at least a little taste of that good peanut butter.