Of Mice and Moms  

Posted by Brock Booher

This week I reread the classic John Steinbeck story, Of Mice and Men. After reading it, I realized that a story I recently wrote had a lot of similarities, but then again we all experience similar things in life as time goes by. We all age. We all deal with sickness and imperfection. We all deal with the questions of life and death.

I had to deal with the question of life and death this week as well.

No, it wasn’t while I was flying. No, I didn’t stop an attacker at gunpoint. No, my dog did not need to be put down. I had to kill a mouse.

It seems that some mice thought our house was nice, and decided to take up residence in the wall behind the refrigerator and help themselves to food scraps in the nearby pantry. My seventeen-year old son, Cody, met them face to face last night around midnight when teenage hunger pains led him to the pantry as the mice were feasting on our food. To his credit he didn’t scream like a girl and wake us up.

So this morning I begin the process of cleaning out the pantry and looking for mice. At first all I found were mouse droppings, but as I pulled the last large can away from the wall a tiny mouse began running back and forth in the back of the pantry! I was startled at first (I didn’t scream like a girl either), and then I called on my two trusty Shitzu attack dogs to come and rid our domain of this disease-ridden rodent.

Kai and Kneesa came running, but instead of attacking, they watched the mouse with great interest as he ran behind the fridge. They seemed to be saying, “Wow! Would you look at that mouse! Man he sure is a fast little guy. I wonder if he would like to play with us? Hey little buddy, where are you going? Come back and play!”

Don’t ever buy Shitzu attack dogs.

After cleaning and disinfecting the pantry, I purchased some glue traps and put them in just the right spots to catch the invading vermin. Later this evening as I came in from Carson’s baseball game, Kati informed me that one of the traps had already nabbed a little furry felon.

Now the drama of life and death began.

My wife Britt hates the thought of killing anything, even little furry rodents. After she made me promise that I would not let the mouse suffer, she went upstairs in tears.

I carried the trap with the offending creature outside not letting my daughter follow me. I guess my wife’s tears gave me a twinge of guilt and I didn’t want anyone relishing in the death of one of God’s creatures. As I prepared to end his pitiful little life quickly, I could see the fear in his eyes and see the panic in his demeanor. As his little brown eyes looked up at me I remembered the Steinbeck story and the necessity of death and its inevitable outcome. We carry the powers of life and death within us everyday, but seldom do we exercise those powers. We certainly should never exercise them indiscriminately or without compassion. Life is a gift. Death is sometimes merciful.

I kept my promise. The mouse did not suffer... but he also did not live.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at Wednesday, October 21, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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