Thursday, March 12, 2009

To A Mouse

As a small child, I remember very well my mother setting mouse traps to catch unwanted visitors to our little house in Kentucky. I did not understand why someone would want to do such horrible harm to such little creatures portrayed in my story books as cute, fuzzy, smart little critters who I would love to have as pets! So, when my mother wasn't looking, I'd set off the traps, leaving the cheese or whatever little piece of temptation she had left for them there. Not until years later did I confess to my mother what I had done.

All my life, I have loved the little pictures and stories of mice like Dora Mouse, Despereaux, Cinderella's mice, and others. I remember one story book where the mice who lived in a big country house foraged for things when the humans were away, and they had such a fine little mouse house that I wouldn't have minded to live in the cozy accommodations. I remember a spool for a table and a stamp for a picture on the wall. How cute is that?!? My brother and I once had pet hamsters, and I even had a pet white mouse at one time. I've never been afraid of mice, and I never understood some people who will, literally, climb up on a chair or table to get away from one of them.

Some of the cutest "mouse art" I've ever seen are by a husband and wife team, Russell W. & Cynthia Gordon. I love the whimsical, ADORABLE paintings they've done. My favorite is listed above, "The Spirit of Adventure," 2005. Below are other pieces that they have done. They even have a special section on the website titled "The Mice." I bet at one time they were the kind of children who would have "unset" a mouse trap, too. Please check out their beautiful work at
Modern Mouse, 2007 - c Russell W. & Cynthia Gordon

The Abstract Painter, 2007 - c Russell W. & Cynthia Gordon

Ten Minutes to Herself, 2005 - c Russell W. & Cynthia Gordon

All of this being said, I have had a mouse encounter in my office at Thompson Union. Remember...I said I had never been afraid of mice, so imagine how shocked I was at my reaction to a little gray mouse that scurried across one of the counters in my office yesterday. I literally jumped from my chair, screamed, and ran into the hallway. When I had calmed down, I thought..."WHAT am I doing?!?!" I couldn't believe I ran from a little critter not the size of the heel of my shoe! I called the guys in PPS, who I'm sure had a good laugh at my request for a "humane" mouse trap. They brought over a critter cage and armed it with peanut butter. I am to "dispose" of the mouse, once caught in the cage, the way I see fit. The way I see fit is to let him (or her) go, unharmed, in an area where there are no houses or buildings around. Maybe a good barn would make a good home?!

My mother always said, "Paula, they're such dirty little things that carry disease!" Well, I realize that. But I still can't stick one to a glue board or kill it in a trap! So...just to update you...he DID set off the trap last night and ate part of the peanut butter...but he somehow managed to escape getting caught in the cage. I've reset it, and now I'm waiting. I realize this may not work, and I'll actually have to get close to the mouse in order to let him go, but I think I'll survive. He's tricky, though....and appears to be rather clever. I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, enjoy the micey art and a great old poem by Robert Burns:

To A Mouse
Small, sleek, cowering, timorous beast,
O, what a panic is in your breast!
You need not start away so hasty
With hurrying scamper!
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With murdering plough-staff.
I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
And fellow mortal!
I doubt not, sometimes, but you may steal;
What then? Poor beast, you must live!
An odd ear in twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I will get a blessing with what is left,
And never miss it.


The Whispering Poppies said...

How sweet! That artwork is amazing!!!! And we have used those humane traps, too! We had a little mousey come to pay our cellar a visit, and hubby and I could NEVER kill it. We set the trap, caught the little guy, and released him out into the woods. Don't worry... your little guy WILL return. It might be a couple of days... they can survive on VERY little we found out, and that meal of peanut butter he just had might last him a day or two! =)

The Victorian Parlor said...

God Bless you! I too think that these little furry creatures are adorable! I have been raised to treat all animals with kindness, even when they are viewed as predators! Looks like we have something else in common:) The artwork is precious too-thanks for sharing!

Miss Jen said...

Awww.... this is SO sweet! ;)
The artwork is simply adorable.
Thank you for sharing, this was a darling post!!! Hope you have a marvelous weekend, dear friend.

Blessings~ Miss Jen

Tillybud said...

Oh I'm definitely with you on the wee mousie thing. My daughter read 'Despereaux' a little while ago and we were both in bits at the cuteness. Love the illustrations especially 'Ten minutes to herself' although 'The Abstract painter' is hilarious!

The Rustic Victorian said...

They are cute, I too appreciate the sweet art work. Its nice when rodents and bugs stay out of the buildings, but, eventually everyone deals with it. I am glad your approach is humane...let us know what happens...I wonder if the little guy could find his way home,,,like Lassie.....

Distressing Delilah a.k.a. jenn said...

Hi Paula! I totally drove the long way to Arkansas...missed Tennessee altogether..hubbies fault for not checking my mapquest like I asked him too! Next time I will slow down and look you up!

Janet said...

Thank you for ending with good ol' Robbie Burns!!!
I had a whole colony of mice in my London house. I would catch some of them and drive them a mile away and let them out. I finally just gave up. You'd think with as many cats and dogs as I had, I wouldn't have had a problem. Lazy animals.
I love the Gordons' artwork.

JEWEL said...

paula so sorry I have not been in touch, esp. after you sending me such a nice award. I have been trying to keep up with reading my favorite blogs but have had no chance to write or reply.

I read your post about mice and thought about you when I seen this site she makes wonderful mice! I know you will love them.