Thursday, November 29, 2007

Circle of Life

So as I was setting the mousetrap last night, Ryan came into the kitchen and of course wanted to know what I was doing. I told him I was going to catch the mouse. How did I know there was a mouse in the house? As far as he knew, the one I captured the other night was the only one. I explained to him that I had vaccuumed up all the mouse poop the other day and now there is more fresh mouse poop. So, he says, when you catch the mouse, what are you going to do with it? Let it go outside? Ummmm. No. The mouse will be dead, I tell him. Oh. He thought that the traps just caught them by the tail but didn't kill them. Unfortunately it only happens that way in cartoons I told him. This trap will kill the mouse. At this point I'm getting a little nervous because I can tell he's on the verge of being upset. I don't blame him. I'm feeling conflicted about the whole process myself. Why do you think it took me a week to get around to buying mousetraps? For one thing, I don't want to have to face the dead body and the disposal task. For another thing, I don't like to kill animals. On the flip side, if I allow the mice to stay under the kitchen cabinet, feasting on garbage, they will eventually reproduce in great numbers then get even hungrier and start looking for food in the cabinets. I don't know for sure, but I imagine they could also harbor diseases harmful to humans. Out in the forest, the mice and the hawks and other natural predators keep each other in balance. Here in the suburbs not so much. Are the mice endangered? I doubt it. Am I allowing for a larger problem to develop if I do nothing? Yes. Could I choose a live catch and release trap? Yes but they recommend releasing 5 miles from your house in a wooded area which I find impractical for this area. So regular mouse trap it is.

I explained the predator/prey aspect as well as the mass reproduction and disease aspects to Ryan. I told him that I don't mind the mice living anywhere they want in my yard, outside the house. But I just can't allow them to live inside. In this case I must become the hawk and kill the mouse. He seemed okay with it.

Fast forward to this morning when I found the dead mouse behind the garbage can. I felt sad that he died. Then before the kids were up and aware of what I was doing, I dumped the body behind the shed to let nature finish things off. I hope no other mice come to die in my traps. They should just set up camp in the back woods instead.

No comments: