Sunday, July 25, 2010

Poetic Monday: A Reluctant Ode to Mice

(photo borrowed from the web!)

I think mice
Are rather nice.

Their tails are long,
Their faces small,
They haven't any
Chins at all.
Their ears are pink,
Their teeth are white,
They run about
The house at night.
They nibble things
They shouldn't touch
And no one seems
To like it much.

But I think mice
Are nice.
~Rose Fyleman

We have a bit of a mouse issue here at the Knitty Gritty Homestead. I think most people who live in old country farmhouses must be hosting the 1000th generation of the mice that moved in when the house was new. Our mice are friendly, and bold...they dash towards our feet while we watch a movie in the evening, and enjoy any bits of food left on the counter at night. My "bulk" cupboard is an all-you-can-eat buffet (did they ever enjoy the hemp hearts I forgot to put in the fridge last week), and they leave their calling card wherever they go...we clean up a lot of mouse poop. Sprinkling whole cloves in the tea-towel drawer has discouraged them from napping there.

Some people have mouse-phobias. I don't like when they startle me, but I think they're kind of cute. This doesn't stop me from setting traps every night (and they always spring about 5 minutes after we've set them...sunflower seed butter with an almond sliver garnish seems to be the most effective bait). I do have to set a certain standard of hygiene, after all! I'm not squeamish about live mice, but pass the task of emptying the traps to my dear husband.

Still, every summer, we get our unwanted guests...big-eyed, wild-looking field mice who thumb their noses at our cats and make hay with our dry goods. I could declare out and out war and hire an exterminator who might accidentally poison my cats (no, the irony of being overrun with mice while the cats doze the nights away is not lost on me). Or I can just live with them. A favourite scene in one of our kids' "Little Bear" movies is when Little Bear and Emily are singing "Emily's cricket sings at night, and the mice come out in the firelight! Oh, what fun to be a mouse, dancing on the hearth in grandma's house!" This conjures such a cozy scene, where we embrace (within reason) the critters that grace our rural lives.

Do you have a favourite animal poem?


  1. I actually don't. Which I feel really stupid for not having.

    I'm really sucking as a mum right now, ha

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  3. I'll have to try the cloves idea. We too get over run by mice. We keep the numbers down by putting the poison on the back stairs in the summer kitchen -only the mice can get at it not my house cats or the barn cats. Luckily we don't usually see them but get to listen to them running up and down in the walls (double brick no insulation). At least the rats seem to stay in the barn. Or so I tell myself!

  4. oh boy!!
    we had an issue like this the end, our faithful and hardworking cat took care of it for us..we also used a "have a heart" trap which worked well for us...we drove the little guys far, far down the road and released them. I, too, think they are cute:)
    I am thinking of my animal poem...hmm...

  5. I don't know about an animal poem but I DO love that Little Bear story, too. I loved Granny's cottage in those stories, mice and all!

  6. You have problems with mouse poop. I have problems with cricket poop. I don't know of any cute poems about crickets....perhaps I should write one!


  7. What does cricket poop look like?

  8. Actually, a lot like mouse poop. Little and black...I'll try to take a picture!

  9. Oh boy! We had a few mice, trapped them, seem to have licked the problem. They were pooping in the cutlery drawer and I had to wash them all every I don't have a million OTHER things to wash every morning than every stinkin' piece of cutlery!

    Our JRT is pretty good at catching mice, but more obsessed about the chipmunks on our property---keeps them in check---or at least in hiding. The pond dried up and there's no more frogs to catch. The winter will come and mice will come back in though, and I'll set her too the task. She'll sit outside a mouse hole for hours and just wait...whinning...and waiting...until SHABAM! Gotcha!




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