Mice and Kids
It was back in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s that I
was raising pigeons as a hobby in our back yard just off the square. I
noticed that I was also raising a family of field mice with the extra
feed that would fall on the ground. My dad told me to go get a trap to
catch the mice and clean the pen. I went to Zeck’s store, which was at
that time, between where Crouse’s is now and the VFW.
I purchased what was called a "Delusion Mouse Trap" for
twenty five cents. It was built in a way that they would walk in to get
to the bate and then when the door closed, they had only one way out and
that was to go into a side compartment and again the trap door would
spring shut and they were trapped. Great invention and no mice die.
That night I baited the trap and placed it on the floor of the pen.
The next morning I checked the trap and it was filled. I then got a box
from my dad’s store and placed the mice in the box. There were 19 mice
and I was so excited at my success.
I went over and got my friend Paul
Harner to come see what I had done. We talked and tried to
figure what we would do with 19 mice. Paul’s dad had a building behind
his house where they would keep chickens and prepare them for sale
through his grocery store. To keep his operation free of mice he had a
number of cats that would roam the area and do their job.
Paul and I decided that his cats would be just the right answer to
our situation and so we carried the box of 19 mice over to Harner’s
yard between the house and chicken building. We began calling the cats.
Only two would answer our call but we thought that was enough. We had
them facing directly at the box and then opened one end.
Much to our surprise, as the mice began to exit the box by two’s
and three’s at a time, the cats thought they were in heaven at this
display. Neither cat made a move. They just stood and stared at the
opening like this was the best thing since sliced bread.
All 19 mice disappeared into the grass and headed for the chicken
building. The cats, their eyes as big as ping-pong balls were still
looking at the magic box. Then Paul and I both knew we had a problem and
before we could run, Mrs. Harner came out of the house and read the riot
act to us. We tried to explain but only made it worse. Paul was sent
into the house and I was told to go home. The story soon reached my
parents and I too was kept in the house for some time.
Time heals all wounds, and soon Paul and I were allowed to get
together. We hope that the group of mice that Mr. Harner had for his
operation did their job for we did not want to hear about mice again. We
did learn to plan out our next operation so that we would not have to
face our mad parents from both families.
other stories by Ed Houck
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