If you give a mouse a…saltine cracker

by Katie on November 5, 2009

Wednesday morning, just after breakfast, one of our big hay customers calls to set up a load. He had mentioned to Brandon he might be coming out to visit sometime soon, so at the end of the conversation, Brandon asks if he knew when that might be yet.
Bob from Texas says, “Well, we’ll be pullin’ out of here Sunday, and should be at your place Monday mornin’.”
Brandon stammers a bit, and I stare at the phone with a dropped jaw. (Dude’s from Texas. He talks loud. I could hear everything.)
You see, Brandon’s deer hunt (and our last hunting excursion for 2009) is this weekend. We planned to head out Thursday afternoon and return Monday evening.
Which, luckily, bought us a little time with Bob.
Brandon informed him we would be out of town until Monday and asked if we could plan to get together Tuesday instead. Bob agreed.
Because the other problem with this situation was I had been out of town until the night before this phone call. And we all know what happens when men are left alone in the house.
In fact, the day before I returned home, I received a call from Brandon. Just to warn me my house was a disaster. No other reason for the call. It didn’t help much that we’ve been running in and out on all these hunting trips for the past few weeks either. Or that we have processed two giant elk in the middle of our kitchen recently.
So, Wednesday quickly turned into a cleaning rampage to muck out our house. While I was at it, I rearranged the pantry and cleaned out the fridge.
And the pantry part is where the mouse comes in. We have these two boxes on the bottom shelf of the pantry to hold things like granola bars, popcorn, trail mix, craisins, raisins, pretzels, etc.
I realized our snack items could be condensed into one box. But when I got to the bottom of the granola bar box, I found a shredded wrapper and pieces of granola and mouse…residue.
I began sifting through the other things on that shelf to look for more evidence. I moved things around as slowly as possible, trying not to disturb any slumbering mice. I’m not really scared of critters like that, I just don’t really want them jumping out and surprising me.
Sure enough, the unopened box of saltine crackers had a whole in one corner, and one stack of crackers had been disturbed.
Brandon came in a bit later, and I said, “Hey, I think we have a mouse in the pantry,” and showed him the shreds of granola bar wrapper and cracker box.
“Yep, sure do. It probably came from a camping trip. I’ve never had one in the house before.”
“Well, we did have the box of crackers when we were camping.”
Then, this morning, I noticed the little sucker had tried to make his way into a bag of tortilla chips. So I found our mouse poison and we set it up on the bottom shelf, where everything he has tried to eat has been located.
And now we wait.
The only problem? Leaving town.
After Brandon set the bait, I said, “Great, now the mouse is going to eat that stuff and die tonight and we we’re going to find him rotting in our pantry in four days.”
Brandon: “Yeah, and Bob and his wife are going to walk in here Tuesday wondering what the smell is, and I’m going to have to tell them my wife just doesn’t keep a tidy house.”

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