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Bonzer Words!: The Plague Of Mice

...The mice ate shoes, popped out of drawers, into pockets, vases, chairs, bicycle seats, lollies and soft toys. They showed utter disdain and contempt for the series of useless cats that we brought in one after another. They were not easy to catch with butterfly nets and dishcloths. They would not be chased out of doors...

Betty Collins is determined to take a stand against the tiny colonisers.

Betty writes for Bonzer! magazine. Please visit www.bonzer.org.au

I was relaxing in a nice soft chair near a nice hot gas heater watching my computer screen which doubles as a TV, with not a care in the world, when a small dark silent something passed like the shadow of a jet plane from left to right in my lower field of visio—from behind the sofa to behind the desk—gone in a flash: too rapid for the 'startle' reflex even: too small and dark for a mouse: too large and smooth for a cockroach—my attention remained on the screen. A little later—whiz!—it shot like a silent bullet back to the couch.

In the sober light of day I moved the couch and sprayed heartily liberal lashings of cockroach executioner. But the next night there it was there again—quick, silent, couch to desk.

Verification needed: of three pieces of cheese left on the kitchen floor when I went out, only one remained when I returned an hour or two later.

I would have to face facts and take action. I know about mice. Forty years ago my young daughter Melanie brought home a white mouse in a box from a school fete.
Soon it escaped from its cage and took up residence behind the stove. Cute. Even cuter when a little brown friend appeared to share the spoils.

But one night, two little mice appeared from behind the cupboards in the kitchen.

When we moved the cupboards a zillion small mice, white, brown and piebald, rushed out into all the rooms in the house.

The children were ecstatic—at a shilling a time their fortunes were made.

Alas—the best-laid plans of men gang aft agley.

The mice ate shoes, popped out of drawers, into pockets, vases, chairs, bicycle seats, lollies and soft toys. They showed utter disdain and contempt for the series of useless cats that we brought in one after another. They were not easy to catch with butterfly nets and dishcloths. They would not be chased out of doors.

Mice mature to breeding age in three months, and thereafter can produce litters of up to twenty at a time every three weeks. I reckon we blew their cover and resorted to the final solution just before the second generation really got cracking.

Now I hear that scientists are creating 'chimeras' by blending human cells into the brains of mice. Woe, oh woe.

'Wee, slickit, cow'rin tim'rous beastie what a panic's in thy breastie'

Humph. Was Robbie really talking about a REAL mouse?

Never fear, I shall not fail in my duty to all mankind.


© Betty Collins

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