Categorized | The Past, What's Happening

Mouse Tracks

mouse-tracks-in-the-lawn


At least they are outside and not in. I’ve had to deal with mice in my house several times before. Remember the story of  my 8 siblings? Well… one time we had to stay in an old shack that had been hollowed out by mice, squirrels, and other creatures of the woods. It was musty and grungy from their urine and droppings. The door on the house had been left open. The previous occupants never expected or intended that it would be needed again.

My poor mother couldn’t handle mice. Just the thought of them sent shivers through her. As brave as she had been with everything else that had come to her in life, she couldn’t face the devil-of-a-task it would be to clean this hovel. She was desperate, so I volunteered to take it on. I gingerly went through the place door by door and cupboard by cupboard. The high and rank smell of the left-over urine filled the place.

I started to bleach every nook. I conquered the kitchen and was feeling pretty good about my progress. Next was the bedroom where an old dresser was still standing against a moldy wall in a state of disrepair. The drawers sat askew of each other and the handles were old and decrepid. The top drawer held nothing but a splatter of history from the buildings predecessors. The 2nd was just dirty from over-extended use. I could tell why it had been left behind, but I felt it could be a useful addition to our meager belongings – if only for temporary use. The 3rd door was sticky and ajar. As it creaked open I saw grey, fluffy matter in the interior. No……yes! – it was the makings of a mouse nest. A big one that filled half the drawer. I yanked it open farther and in haste made a full two-step retreat. Nothing moved inside the dreadful mass. I found a stick and poked at the gobs of grey newspapers mixed with chewed up fabric and who knows what else. Suddenly a small mass of tiny, pink, hairless, wiggling mice were exposed. My heart leapt into my throat leaving an ache in the spot it left vacant in my chest…or so it seemed.

baby-mouse

A baby mouse. Looks innocent…no?

Then I had to talk to myself: “Oh hay – are you really scared of little pink babies”. “Yup!”, I replied. “Get over it silly…grab the stink’in drawer and run for the outside…and heave it far and wide”, I thought. I did.     I  di ii dd – far and very wide. Good thing nobody was in my path. That was my first mouse-spook.

 

Oh no…I just remembered the time in the cabin…ohhhh               

mouse-tracks-in-the-lawn

Note the maze of tunnels in the foreground!

  

 

 

…back to my point here: there are mouse tracks all over the lawn. They are incredulously numerous. They dig up dead grass and roots under the snow cover during the winter. This winter there wasn’t much frost because of the early snow in October – about the first week wasn’t it? They’ve done very well I imagine …and made many babies – uhhh!

Creepy. I wonder where they are now?

Creepy. I wonder where they are now?

 

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14 Responses to “Mouse Tracks”

  1. Wendy says:

    They are so cute until they grow up. Something about that…in the animal kingdom and the people kingdom…haha…I think.

  2. Kennedy says:

    So a couple days ago my boyfriend Luke and I purchased a dozen African Soft Fur Rats to feed to our snakes. Long story short, the snakes didn’t eat all the ASF’s that night, so we had a few leftovers. Those went into a temporary home until it was feeding time again. Guess what happened? Next morning Luke goes to check on the rats, and lo and behold one of them gave birth overnight!! There were eight tiny little babies squirming around! So we set up a separate home for mommy and babies. It was actually quite easy to discover who was the mother just by her behavior. She was right freaking out when we started moving things around. After she got put into her new home with her kids she immediately inspected each one of them and relocated them into the hidey hole. It’s interesting to see that she knows exactly how many babies she is supposed to have. If you take everyone out to clean the cage, put Mommy back in and start giving the babies back to her she does not calm down until all eight are safe and sound. Even at seven, you can tell she knows there is one still missing! It’s actually been a really interesting few days :). They’ve already gotten a little bigger and hairier and darker. As newborns they were smaller than a quarter and a translucent pink with almost no visible hair. It takes about a month for the ASF’s to reach feeding size, so in four or five weeks they’ll be snack food again lol.

    • sherry says:

      At first I thought …oh yuck! But the rest of the story is interesting. I’m curious to know what they cost each in the first place. I never imagined that there were farmers out there ‘growing’ mice.

    • sherry says:

      …and I thought after “guess what”…that you were going to say they were missing, haha.

    • Anna-Marie White says:

      I would be counting my babies too if I knew they were to become snake food

  3. Kennedy says:

    It’s awesome because ASF’s are about 13$ to buy live and six ball pythons go through a lot of food very fast! So eight free babies is an excellent bargain. There is actually another female who looks oddly chubby… Not just fat or big like some, she has a very unique silhouette with this curvy belly that protrudes in a rounded manner out her sides. We’re quite hoping she is pregnant as well. Gestation is 21 days so within a week or two we will know for sure! She has her own separate home now as well.

  4. Anna-Marie White says:

    Great story Sherry. I must say however that you did have the help of at least one of your sisters sharing the load of cleaning the thick layer of barn scum out of the place…

    • sherry says:

      I’d forgotten if that is the case. But she wouldn’t :)

      • Anna-Marie White says:

        Yes indeed! That includes folding diapers and everything else that came with it. She basically was expected to do everything you did, with the rare exception. One of those exceptions was hanging laundry on the line. A terrible fate avoided most likely because somebody had to be inside rounding up the little hoodlums.

  5. Kennedy says:

    Momma #2 gave burrito her litter last night! 10 babies :D

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