Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pantry Wars

When you live on a farm, you have to share it with all manner of creatures. Especially as cold weather sets in and little beady eyed, twitchy nose *mices* seek food and shelter in a warm place…like our pantry.
What amuses me is their eclectic taste in pantry goods. One would think dog biscuits would be about it for their gastronomic range. Not so! Not MY *mices*…oh no, MY *mices* are into chocolate (and not the ordinary, cheap Baker’s chocolate…no, they are into the Vahlrona bars that cost about a billion dollars a pound) and the organic almonds. (I even think there are wee teeth marks on the caviar jar lid.) And Remy’s Beggin’ Strips.
A few evenings ago, we were watching the TV after dinner, when we heard a commotion in the kitchen. Sort of like the sound of a ping pong ball bouncing down stairs. What the ??!…. Just then one of wee things scoots across the floor into the pantry. Ah HA…got ya now, you little #&*@#. We arm ourselves with various weapons - rubber gloves, goggles and hip waders are my choice - and throw open the pantry door. As if we had a chance of catching it. Off the wee beastie scampers, leaving behind a Beggin’ Strip bigger than it was. It had dragged (drug? drugged? whatever…) this gargantuan morsel across the kitchen from the dog food closet.
“That’s IT,” declares Chris, channeling his Viking warrior ancestors. “I’m setting a trap!” You think? So I get down off the kitchen counter and go rummage in the Junk Drawer (you have one too, don‘t lie) and pull out this package of *special* traps. A gray plastic device that looks like the hood of a ‘57 Cadillac with a big red “X“ where the varmint will inhale his last whiff of peanut butter. “We could try this, you don‘t have to touch the corpse,” I say.
It’s appropriate to point out here that neither barn kitty Dillon or Number One Son, Spike, even cocked an ear at our escapades in the kitchen…from their comfy lounge chair beds in the family room…by the fire. Dillon declared he is retired and Number One Son had just finished another gargantuan meal and was enjoying his 187th nap of the day.
Days go by. More Beggin’ Strips disappear along with can goods and jars of peanut butter. No corpses. Chris heads for Home Depot for a better mouse trap. Ha! “What’s that?” I ask looking at a small black box Chris is fitting with batteries. “This will get them…it electrocutes them when they thread their way into the bait.” Hmmmmmm. (Bet it was invented by a man, a beer swilling, basement dwelling part-time inventor. Can’t you just picture the AHA moment when his tiny little brain connected the dots…car battery, aligator clamps, stinky cheese and a rusty bait bucket.)
Days go by. Mice figure out how to lick the peanut butter from the OUTSIDE of the box through the “scent holes” placed there to attract them. So Chris builds a barrier of boxes and cans so they can’t get to the “scent holes.” Days go by. No corpses. Sigh.
Determined to uphold his Horn Head tradition (read stubborn Dane here), Chris heads back to Home Depot. He arrives back home with a super, jumbo package of old fashioned wooden Victory traps. That night there is a slaughter in the pantry. SNAP to right of the Beggin’ Strips, SNAP to the left…all night long. Chris’s Viking blood lust has been sated. He dances the Dane version of the Hakka.
It just goes to show you man really hasn’t invented a better mouse trap than the good, ole Victory. Peace reigns once again in Pantryland.

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