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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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To Kill a Mocking Mouse

To Kill a Mocking Mouse

Day 1 Ė My daughter went out to the garage and came inside screaming. "A mouse, a MOUSE! Thereís a mouse in the garage. It ran right past my feet." The garage door doesnít fit very tight, and a tiny mouse can squeeze though a crack the size of a pencil.

Day 2 Ė "I saw it again! It has three or four babies and they all ran under the washing machine." Okay, itís time to quit messing around and to get down to some serious mouse catching. Soon the traps are set and baited with cheese.

Day 3 Ė The cheese is gone. The mouse is not. The mouse wins. "Okay, mouse, think you are smart, huh? OUCH!" The trap springs on my daughterís finger. The mouse scores again.

Day 4 Ė We set the trap again, and again the mouse gets the cheese. Thatís Mouse 3 Ė Humans 0 if you are keeping score. We are being out-maneuvered by a rodent with a brain the size of a pea.

Day 5 - Why donít we just throw the cat out in the garage and let it earn its keep? An hour later we check and the cat is hiding behind a bag of concrete, terrorized. What's the big idea? Don't we know there are mice out there!

"Okay, come back inside, cat." What a worthless fur ball. So, the cat strikes out and the mouse scores again.

Day 6 - "Use peanut butter" advise my friends. So, my daughter smears peanut all over the trap. No way can that mouse eat all the peanut butter and not get caught. But next morning, the trap is licked clean. Not a speck of peanut butter is left and the trap is not sprung. We are obviously running a mouse buffet. Mouse 5 Ė Humans 0.

What should we do? Use poison? But we have pets - what if the cat eats a poisoned mouse? As worthless as the stupid feline is, I donít want to poison her.

"Use glue traps," advise my friends. The idea is that the mouse gets stuck on the glue and canít escape. According to the instructions on the box, the mouse can even be humanely released alive by holding the trap over a 5-gallon bucket and pouring vegetable oil to release it from the glue. They have got to be kidding!

I saw humane traps at the store. But what do you do with a live mouse after you catch it? If you turn it loose, if will come back. I refuse to put a live mouse in my car to take it away.

Day 7 Ė We declare WAR! We set out all four glue traps that were in the box. I am tired of running a Motel 8 for mice. The varmint has got to go! But somehow the mouse knows. It avoids the glue boards and is not caught. Mouse 6 Ė Humans 0.

Day 8 - Iím at my witís end. Iíve never seen a mouse so smart. It should belong to Mensa. I am beginning to respect it for its intelligence and wonder if it deserves to survive. After all, it has a family.

"Can we catch it and keep it," asks my grandson. But rodents are filthy. They carry disease and spread germs. They chew things up and destroy property. "Wait until you are older and weíll get a gerbil," I lie.

Day 9 - I wish this story had a happy ending. It does for the mouse, but not for the humans. Surely there is way to get rid of a super mouse with a 200 IQ. I suppose it will take an exterminator, a hired gun. There seems to be no other way to kill a mocking mouse.

The mouse is still at large, gleefully playing leapfrog over the glue boards, and no doubt laughing though its whiskers at the stupid humans who are trying to catch it. Humans - zero - Mouse - game.

Copyright 2004 Sheila Moss

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