About Me

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Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

St. Francis of Assisi, I'm Not

We were awakened by a curious noise this morning at 4:00.  Beans was in the living room.  She had knocked over the newspaper basket by the fireplace, tipped over the antique metal teapot and its wrought iron stand on the hearth and was scratching at the red metal bucket that we put kindling (and the leftover decorative pine cones and candle stubs for fire starters) in.  Charles got up and took her upstairs to Miguel's room.  I was wide awake by that time and came out to the living room to await the dawn.  I was starting to snooze on the couch when I heard noises coming from the red bucket and realized that THERE WAS A MOUSE IN THERE.  When Charles got up at 6, I told him about it and he said that he would take care of it after he had a cup of tea.  I suggested starting a fire and dumping the bucket into the woodstove.  He looked horrified and said that it was a bit early in the morning for an auto-da-fe.  (This was an hysteria-induced response.  I would never, NEVER, burn any living creature alive).

I suggested putting the bucket outside.  He said that the poor little mouse would be unable to get out of the bucket and would freeze to death.  He suggested that we dump the bucket out in the yard, so that it could find shelter.  I said that the "poor little mouse, my ass" would just come back into the house.

The only other choice was to rescue and rehabilitate it, which is not really an option.

We compromised by dumping the bucket in the yard, but as far away as possible, so that the mouse will have a fighting chance, but will still have to traverse the snowy dog yard to get back to the house, dodging the hazards of both Beans and Frida on the way.  (Personally, I think death by fire a la Joan of Arc, is a quicker, more merciful way to die than freezing to death or being ripped apart in the slavering jaws of a Westie and Dachshund.)  The last we saw of the mouse it was running around in a crazed circle on top of the snow, before darting under the fence, hopefully on the way to a neighbor's warm house, and not getting ready to double back into ours.

Charles told me that my suggestions were hardly reminiscent of "Brother Sun, Sister Moon".  And I told HIM that when it comes to vermin, my love for little furry animals flies out the window.  I didn't expect the little thing to suffer, however, I did, to quote Goldfinger, "expect it to DIE".

I took the following series of photos, all the while shrieking: "Hold the bucket level - don't let it jump out!", and, "Oh, God!  Oh, God!  That's disgusting!", and "Oh ick!  Don't let it jump out!"  My logical mind assured me that the mouse would have to be the rodent equivalent of Michael Jordan to jump out of the bucket, but I am completely illogical when it comes to mice in the house.

Where is it?

Where is it?
Oh, #)*&!  There it is!

Fuzzy picture taken while screaming.

Yeah, you just TRY to look cute - it won't work with me, no sir!


  1. Falling on the floor laughing... actually, that's an exaggeration. More precisely, choking on my coffee laughing! I can totally imagine my brother deferring ANY mouse eradication until he had his cup of tea! :-)

    Unfortunately, photo #3 doesn't help strengthen your case - he looks like Stuart Little... very cute little ears and long tail - typical mouse. But don't get me wrong, I am firmly in the Grandma Clara line of thinking here - "The only good mouse is a dead mouse" - or at least a mouse relocated to someplace FAR, FAR away from my house....

    We could swap skeevy, hysterical mouse stories... I can no longer laugh at our Grandma Clara when I see a mouse because I have the same "jump on a chair and squeal" impulse that she had, and that we all used to laugh at, at her expense. Although, if you had given Grandma Clara a shovel I am sure she would have made mince meat of it, but that is another story....

    I lost any sense of humor about mice the first time, years ago, that I saw one slide, flat like an envelope, under a base board in a friend's kitchen - and then plump back up into a "normal" mouse-shape. It was like something from a horror movie! The thought still makes my skin crawl. Something about that ability seems unnatural and scary. Of course, there is that whole bubonic plague association... Yeah, mice are NOT on my list of favorite things.

    Anyway, thanks for the laugh (at your espense, I know). I hope that "Stuart" doesn't find his way back into your fireside red bucket.

    1. I'm with Grandma Clara on that one! I hate them. HATE. THEM. Charles was so calm and in control and I was having a complete fit.

  2. Just put it outside where it can find new shelter , NO it can not come back to your house, but I'm sure it has a cute little mouse house, like the ones in children's story books, with a sweet little rocking chair and curtains at the windows and a tea kettle warming on the fire. :-)

  3. Paula - Have Charles tell you the "Good Friday and the Serpent" story ....

  4. LOL, you are too funny! We used to get mice now and then at our former country cottage. We lived next to farms, so it was to be expected. One practically ran across our dog's nose, and Buddy just moved his eyes to watch it run by. He certainly wasn't a "mouser."

    I hope you're mouse-free for the rest of the winter now, LOL!


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