Friday, October 16, 2009

Invasion of the Crumb Snatchers

In the fall, UFO’s send large numbers of their species to invade my house. With their large black eyes and pointy faces, they might be scary if they weren’t so darn cute. They only come out at night and I wouldn’t even know they had visited if it weren’t for the abundance of small gifts they leave behind. I am positively schizophrenic about these Unidentified Furry Objects (Peromyscus maniculatus)or deer mice.

For years I have gleefully trapped mice and tossed their carcasses to the chickens. But, last year, I accidentally dislodged a momma mouse from her nest of babies. She ran off, leaving her little pink eraser-shaped children to fend for themselves. Instantly my maternal instincts took over. I gathered all nine babies into the palm of my hand and went in search of a small box. Joe says I should have been searching for the cats.

Anyway, after locating an appropriate receptacle, I scoured the internet looking for a mouse milk recipe. I couldn’t find one. Go figure. So I concocted my own version from canned milk, water and egg with just a touch of sugar for sweetness. Then I spent an hour or two convincing the babies to suck a drop from a syringe. After three days of this madness, thank goodness they all died. But ever the conflicted one, I dug a grave for them under the pear tree. By the end of the week, I was once again trapping the little boogers and tossing them to the cats. See what I mean about schizophrenia?

Farm living continues to teach me new things about myself.

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