"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


My worst nightmare came true the other day.

As I stepped to go outside the back door I spied this on the floor.
Oh dear.  Oh, dearie, dearie me...
Now, I'm no rocket scientist, but I knew immediately what this meant...

...we had been invaded by a dreaded field mouse.  Not content with scoffing 75 - 80% of the tomatoes which I tried to grow this past summer, they now want the little I have managed to save - even the green ones!  Not on your nelly!!!!

"RMaaaaaan".  "I need you, and I need you NOW!!!!"

He slowly ambled towards my panicked voice.  I pointed.

He looked down.

Then he looked at me.

"You need me to pick that up?  I didn't do it..." he said plaintively.

Hiding a grin, I said, "No - I can pick it up, but... do you know what this means?"

Blank look.  Obviously not on my wavelength at all.

"That green tomato was sitting on the counter behind us.  Now it's on the floor. And it would appear to have nibbles taken out of it" I explained.

"So", RMan said.  "I swear it wasn't me."

Sometimes my patience lasts, and sometimes it wears thin.  This time it lasted.

"What this specimen on the floor means is that we have a field mouse in the house.  And I need you to be a Hunter whilst I gather up the mess."

Did I hear him sigh?

Ignoring the sound, I replied: "But - you need to wait until after I have "gathered", because I'm not leaving my feet on the same level as that rodent - they need to be firmly placed on the seat of a chair, whilst my behind is on the table, and from whence I will direct operations."  I'm excellent at delegating, aren't I? :)

What followed was hysterical.

The idiot mouse obviously wanted to be caught, because we heard a munching coming from under the fridge.

Long stick in hand (is he also afraid of mice?) RMan started gingerly poking under the fridge.  That cause the rodent to scarper off towards my open kitchen shelves (note to RMan - "Doors in front of Shelves, please - tomorrow!").   As it scarpered, Mandy, MKid's dog, spotted it, and gave chase.

Ha!  Now RMan was braver.  He had a hunting buddy.  Pots and pans got tossed, dog dived under the shelves - so boisterously that the shelves and their contents got dislodged.

Crash. Bang. Clatter.  No matter, Mandy was on a mission.

Bless her if she didn't end up catching the field mouse.

Good, good, good girl :)

No sooner had she got it, than she ran outside.

Good, good, good girl :)
Can you see the body and tail hanging out of her
But, now she had it, what to do with it?

She obviously (thankfully) wasn't hungry - thank goodness - so she lay down next to it.  I reckon it was frozen with fear, because it just sat next to her.
Mandy is entranced with her little "toy"
She spied it out for a while, and then got up and pawed it.  The poor little mouse (it's a "poor little mouse" now, please note but inside my house it's a "damned rodent") made a few tentative attempts to escape, and each time Mandy leapt on it.  What a wonderful game!

Thankfully (for the mouse) Mandy got distracted by our neighbour arriving home, and ran off barking.  The mouse - it made it's eventual safe escape and went home to tell it's (probable extended) family what kind of day it had had.  Hopefully Mandy has put the fear of dogs into it, and that it doesn't follow it's (urine) trail back inside the house...

I don't do mice inside.  Ever!

And, everytime Mandy hears me take a pot, the noise reminds her of the hunt, and she comes running over to find out if I ned her assistance this time...


tffnguy said...

Dani, that is hilarious. Just keep a pot and wooden spoon handy so if you see another mouse you can bang on the pan and summon Mandy. ;)

I had one of those critters run out from under the dash of the car while I was traveling at about 60 miles per hour. Startled me, but I managed it. I hate to think what it would been like if most women I know were driving. Probably a lot of road rash after they jumped out the door?

DFW said...


This made me laugh. Good dog Mandy! Mice are horrible, disease carrying, food trashing creatures. Yet, so cute from afar.

JaneofVirginia said...

Glad it worked out as well as it did. I would almost rather see a bear in my kitchen, than a mouse !

Tami said...

Scooter is into hunting lizards. Not that I have them in my house. He sits with them squirming in his mouth with the tail hanging out. Way better than a mousie though.

Good Girl Mandy. But no puppy kisses, Thanks anyway ;)

Joyful said...

I had a good chuckle. But like you, I don't do mice inside. Yuck!

Barb. said...

I'll swap ya. Your lone mouse for my shed full of rats. No? Fiiine. After the first few dozen you'll get used to them. I have caught 2 mice inside in the last week and seen one run across the floor.. if I was driving when it happened I'd be crashed. Not good. But mice is better than bears!! Sounds like we need a plan.


Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

LOL. Poor mouse. lol. Well I don't know Dani, but I always thought there were creatures in South Africa to be feared, but I didn't realize the mouse was one of them. I guess I've gotten used to them, from living in the shack. They sorta came in when ever they wanted from time to time. I always had a few traps set. Little buggers.

Robyn said...

Yay for Mandy! I unearthed a mouse nest in my vege garden years ago and didn't have anything suitable to hit them with at the time but I was wearing old riding boots, and being a bit incensed as I'd been losing carrots for days and couldn't figure out why the tops I pulled up were rootless, I lost the plot and stomped them to death - all 4 of them. I didn't think I could move that fast! The children thought I'd stepped on an ants nest.

Dani said...

tffnguy - Yeah, good idea.

Nope - I don't think, under ANY circumstances, I would've managed to continue driving. A mouse in such close proximity... (shudder)

Dani said...

DFW - Mandy got a big bone for her bravery and cleverness :)

Reckon Walt Disney had a lot to do with making mice acceptable, but NOT in this house LOL

Dani said...

Jane - Reckon I agree with you there. The invasion of mice to me, equals attracting snakes inside, and the contamination of precious dry foodstuf. We've even had mice that could chew through storage containers to get to the food within. Only glass can withstand their teeth...!

Dani said...

Tami - I, too, can handle lizards :) with or without their tails.

DEFINITELY no puppy kisses - and she's a licky-licky dog, so I keep getting up to wash off the licked elbow, knee, foot, hand... YUCK!

Dani said...

Joyful - Yuck indeed :) Incontinent creatures, too - just the thought makes my stomach heave...

Dani said...

Barb - Please lemme now what plot you come up with - I'm definitely game :) Have researched electronic rodent repellers in this country, but am VERY wary because of the dogs...

Btw, you can keep your shedful - definitely.

Dani said...

FCH - Oh, there are. Plenty. In our particular area, snakes, baboons, scorpions, and even a monkey. There MAY even be a leopard in the mountains 12kms away.

But, one mouse can equal one cobra, puff adder or "boomslang" (literal translation : tree snake) in the house. NO THANKS! :)

Dani said...

Robyn - Eeewwwwwwwwwww :) Dunno if I could be brave enough to squelch one, never mind four, mice. But I feel for you regarding the veggies. They wiped out my summer veg, and now they are attacking my new tiny pea shoots, swiss chard and beetroot. I've even seen signs of then near my garlic!

Bee Girl said...

Lol...YAY for Mandy! Definitely a good dog :-)

Dani said...

Bee Girl - LOL - couldn't agree more. Now, if I could just get her to STOP trying to sleep on the furniture, that would be good.

Kris said...

This morning, lying in bed, a heard a rustle/bop upstairs in the attic. After coffee I went upstairs, popped open the snap trap, dropped the dead mouse onto a napkin, reset the trap, carried the mouse downstairs, and, finally, tossed the mouse next to the house were the fox patrols nightly. No muss, no fuss, no mice in the house.

Dani said...

Kris - You are certainly braver than me. I'm going to sound like the biggest whimp now, but I can't even pick up a dead MOUSE

And as for tossing it into the field next door, Mandy WILL sniff it out and eat it - she's done so before. Tossing in the bin = nasty smell and bin full of maggots!

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anything but mice.