Mouse Tails from the Crypt

May 29, 2015 at 12:14 am (That's not funny..., The Easy Chair)

I can see him now, in Mouse Heaven, telling his story:

“Remember those church stories that crazy lady used to watch on TV? It’s true! (Hey, mice can watch TV.) I was trying to score THE CHOCOLATE from the Utensil of Death. I thought if I came from underneath I might avoid its jaws. It missed my head, but caught my front hands. I struggled, but I knew I was done for. When you die, it’s just like they tell you. You see the bright white light, a huge devil appears, and he takes your life. I was worried, because he was big and very red, with long red hair and glowing red eyes. You know what they say about seeing the Red Guy, but there was no fire. He seemed sad, in fact. He had that curved thing, but it’s not the thing used to harvest grain. It’s shorter, and not sharp. It’s a thing bad guys use on COPS. In fact it’s very hard. I looked him in the eye as he brought down the wand of death.”

Death By Chocolate

Death By Chocolate

As I lay me down to sleep, I heard a rustling by my chair. Mice again? Rain has been visiting, so there’s probably a half-eaten bag of pork rinds hiding behind my desk. I heard squeaks. Did the mouse trap go off? If so, time will take care of my furry visitor. I closed my eyes. Man, that was a nice doobie.

More rustling and squeaking. Shit. I took off my breathing mask and investigated.

Sho’ ’nuff, a little furry buddy was thrashing around, caught by his front paws. It appeared he had maneuvered the trap onto a power cord, and was trying to eat the chocolate from underneath, so as to avoid the SNAP. His plan was flawed, and would turn him into a double amputee.

At best.

I hate it when this happens. I don’t like killing things unless they deserve it, and even then… I don’t dislike rodents, in fact I have had numerous furry friends over the years. (Bitch and Moan, Doc and Nasty, to name a couple of roommate pairs from back in the day.) But when they come uninvited and eat my chocolate, well, motherfucker, dyin’ time is here.

I’ve had the traps out, and I catch a couple, then it’s quiet, sometimes for months. Then one will wander through. (My bedroom is a part of mousedom’s underground railroad, it seems. To reach the promised land of the kitchen from the yard, you have to get past the red devil and his cat minions.) I have two cats who earn their keep in this department, and I like to help them out. (Hat tip to Django and Neptune, aka Creamcicle, who leave their torn trophies on my sister’s pillow.) I hold the bodies to their noses and “taunt you a seconda time-uh” in a French accent. I am the Mighty Hunter.

But this little guy wasn’t dead. He had this ‘Boy, I fucked up’ look going on. His front paws were trapped, likely broken. He wasn’t going to escape, and he wasn’t mortally wounded. Shit. I knew what I had to do. I was raised in the country, and dad taught me the code when it came to putting things out of their misery.

But how?

When I lived in Sandy, a well-placed round from a .22 long rifle would leave a hole in the carpet and a light on at the neighbor’s house. In SE Portland, it would warrant a SWAT response. I could smack him with brass knuckles, but that seemed too personal, and it was a difficult angle. I looked at the vast array of knives. I eat with those sometimes. I thought of my dad’s hammer, but it’s one hundred years old. It’s retired. I thought briefly about using the meat cleaver next to my chair, but it’s covered in love notes from Rain. (If I’m going to mess those up, it will be from killing something bigger than a rat.)

Youth in Asia

Youth in Asia

And then I saw it. My burglary tool.

I’d found it in a discarded backpack while working at The Mothership one day, and it’s been hanging on my wall since. A pry-bar meant for pulling up floorboards and nails, bent in half midway, now perfect for popping residential windows.

Or for putting four-legged interlopers with little to no chance at a good life out of their misery.

I shined the flashlight at my target. He’d rustled around to where I had a clean body shot, so I took it. I brought the pry-bar down, sharp side away, and hit him hard, like trying to drive a nail in one hit. No sense dragging it out. I smacked him, and he looked at me. His eyes glowed red for a second, equal parts “You bastard!” and “Thanks, man. Thanks.” I left him alone. He no longer moved.

I thought I’d have a hard time going to sleep after, but I didn’t. I didn’t stop thinking about my little friend all day, hoping I did the right thing. He hadn’t moved since I’d hit him, so I got it right. I walked him to his heaven, the kitchen garbage.

Rest in pieces.

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