Killing Rodents
Like a warrior come from the battlefield here I sit contemplating the stain of death all around me. From an inside connection at the compound of a local radical feminist octogenarian playwright I have procured a better mousetrap and the kill rate of my only remaining pets, the cute, furry, heretofore skittering farm mouse, is astounding.

I started in earnest on this nascent campaign of death after various failed attempts using the standard wooden based spring catapult/guillotine-type mousetrap that you would be familiar with if you ever came out from under that rock.

While failing, I considered the various rationalizations for living in harmony with bubonic plague carrying rodents. Life is sacred. They only come out at night while you sleep. The dimensions of the doo-doo they leave behind on your counter tops is small. Their urine trails can only be seen in the dark under ultraviolet light. As a kid you used to keep one as a pet (until the one Mr. BC kept eviscerated yours and you came down the stairs crying, Willie is dead, Willie is dead, while your brothers snickered over their cereal bowls). The plastic spatulas they gnaw grooves into can be replaced.

While I ruminated for days and days over these things I met other locals who would look at you like you the devil's little brother if you mentioned killing a snake. Life is sacred, life is sacred, life is sacred. A mouse is less threatening than a snake so I kept the mouse-killing campaign secret from those I suspected would ostracize my efforts.

Over time the poop piled up in corners and the urine trails got smear-wiped with Windex now and again and I stopped killing snakes and I looked on benevolently while deer decimated my garden and groundhogs dug tunnels under the 40 acres because you need a permit to fire a gun on the half of this property that is in town limits, and, while I say I don't need no stinking permit I am at least casually interested and observant of the laws of our land.

That groundhog, there's not just one but, that groundhog, the biggest rodent out here, stands erect on its haunches eating the only Cherokee Purple tomato that grew from the plants eaten to near death by the deer, and, juice and flesh bits matting his fur, shoots me the finger, before running off to hide under the barn, its fleshy haunches undulating from side to side reminding of that fat cat Herman who used to keep me company out here, before he died a horrible death at the veterinarians office.

I would earnestly ignore the fruitlessness of my attempts to kill mice with the aforementioned wooden traps and convince myself if I just smeared the peanut butter better (you have to be a veritable word craftsman, a damn word smith, to get the words "peanut butter better" together) or lubricated the parts or located the traps differently that I would achieve the success that eluded me.

Because I believe strongly in education continuation I would read books about Rats and watch strangely compelling made for TV type B movies, like the one called The Rats, which features in one movie the same swimming pool, once with rats swimming in it and once with all the water let out, the rats just coming from the NY sewer system to fill it up with all their horrific rat-writhing potential and then...I ain't gonna ruin it for you. Like Joe Bob says, check it out.

You poor desperate soul who has read this far to find out what is the new improved mouse trap I'm talking about, and I'm not shittin' you, these traps are stupendous killing machines, affordable, and reusable, and the only down side of these traps is how they throw in your face, before you even know it, your propensity for killing. Of course, given the right conditions, propensity for killing is something even the most ardent pacifist will come to, or so I think.

Oh hell, I'll give you a hint. I still use peanut butter to bait the new improved traps. That should get you there. Now, get out there, and kill some rodents.
- jimlouis 8-04-2005 7:58 pm

national lampoon once had a spoof on american sportsman magazine with satirical ads touting cattle armor for farmers to protect their livestock from liquor addled hunters. on the next page was an ad for armor piercing bullets. brother john is sniping groundhog with a borrowed 22. i know what your talking about up there with the hint, but we had better success with poison trays. not pretty either. name your poison.
- bill 8-04-2005 9:22 pm [add a comment]

Snakes eat rodents, and spiders eat flies, so they get a pass from me.
- mark 8-05-2005 3:26 am [add a comment]

Yeah, why kill the snakes?
- steve 8-05-2005 6:10 am [add a comment]

Mostly I don't see any point in letting them lounge around the back porch of this bighouse, with its occasional guests from the city, some children. But that's sort of my point, this whole snakes are your friends idea. I've killed one snake out of the many that I've seen around here and I'm forever entering the why kill snakes debate. Like the snake is the great unloved underdog we all supposed to love. Nobody, I mean nobody, ever says--why you killing all them cute little rodents. Also, the beneficial (but they don't eat that many rodents) rat snake I killed outside on the path by the porch was perhaps over reaction to the snakes an inspector had recently seen in the basement. And then the next time, the copperhead, right near the bottom of the porch steps, I scooped up and relocated in deference to another member of the why kill snakes coalition, but next time I see a copperhead or rattlesnake near the house, I will kill it. Why? Because loveable or not, if they can't figure a way to set up shop farther from the living quarters, they ain't no friend of mine.
- jimlouis 8-05-2005 3:14 pm [add a comment]

Small gopher, possibly juvenile found dead in backyard. Catahoula implicated in the rodenticide, due to dirt patterns on fur indicating digging, and excited response to "Oh, look a the gopher! Who got the gopher?".
- mark 8-13-2005 11:44 pm [add a comment]

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