I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. (J.R.R.Tolkien, The Two Towers)

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

Marko Kloos "Why the Gun is Civilization"

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Mice in the Pantry AKA Watch Out for the Glass Jars!!

When cold weather moves in so do the mice and rats. Some years it’s mostly mice, other years it’s the rats and usually we have a few of both. The dogs Lady, Muffin, and now Sadie have always gone after them with much enthusiasm. I still have several holes and one large trench in the yard that needs to be filled back in. Lady and Muffin always played with the recently departed until the remains were thoroughly scattered over the yard. Sadie prefers to leave them in front of the basement door so that when I go out to feed her each morning she can say “Look what I brought you.”

One year a neighbor two houses over piled their garbage in their back yard all summer long. That fall the rats were so bad that I went hunting with rat shot in the basement. Lots of fun and excitement but make sure the rat isn’t sitting in front of the canned goods in glass jars before you shoot.

A few weeks back we started hearing the familiar scurrying sound inside the walls. I cleaned off the traps baited them with peanut butter and distributed them throughout the house. I’ve always had good luck with peanut butter for bait so I was a little baffled when I didn’t catch anything. Then I started finding the traps sprung with all the bait gone. So switching tactics, I smeared the peanut butter under the bait holder instead of on top of it and caught 2 very tiny mice. Total count so far is 6, all very small. Now I know that mice multiply and grow very fast so I should have been catching at least a few bigger ones. Don’t know if I’ve got an infestation of pigmy mice or a family of extremely trap-wise ones.

Anyway, the other day upon opening the door to the food closet, I discovered that they had once again chewed through the wall and gained access to the stored boxes and bags of food despite our last best efforts to block them out. So last night after 2 hours, 3 garbage bags of contaminated food, several pairs of rubber gloves, a whole box of Clorox Wipes, one can of filler foam, and one tube of caulking, we now have the cleanest and most organized food pantry in town.

Now all I have to do is replace the batteries in my night vision goggles, buy another box of rat shot, and remember to watch out for the glass jars.

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