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Hope's Corner: Buttering Up a Mouse

"Our mouse trap is sort of like the trap in the Mouse Trap game. It is a Rube Goldberg affair...," writes Jackie Hope.

Jackie Hope BW.jpg
Jackie Hope is the longest running Dickinson Press contributor and columnist. Hope's Corner is a weekly humorous column with a message of hope.
Contributed / For The Dickinson Press
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There is something living in our garage. Something. We don’t exactly know what it is, but we know it likes peanut butter.

Right after the July hailstorm from Hades, a herd of mice moved into our garage. Or maybe it was a horde. Considering all the sunflower seeds stolen from our sacks, and left laying around in odd places in the garage, maybe the most correct term is a hoard of mice.

They left seeds on the steps from the garage into the house. They left seeds on the seat of my motor scooter. The thought of them leaving seeds on the seats of my Corvette led me to bait the mouse trap.

Our mouse trap is sort of like the trap in the Mouse Trap game. It is a Rube Goldberg affair, where the mouse walks into a metal cage to get a treat. The treat is on a see-saw, and when the mouse puts a foot onto the see-saw the trap doors slam shut and the mouse is trapped. The mouse then has all night to eat his peanut butter and contemplate his sins.

The next morning, the well-fed mouse is transported to a release site. The release site is far enough away from our garage, that the mouse will find some new garage to terrorize. Whether the owner of that new garage has a cat is not my problem. It may, however, be a big problem for the mouse.


After seven mice, the herd, or horde, or hoard, seemed to all be relocated. We moved the trap to the patio, for the entertainment of Katie the Wonder Puppy. She spends an inordinate amount of time hoping to see a rabbit – or mouse – on the patio.

Then I cleaned the garage. And I found a hole in my sack of potting soil. Near the sack was a mound of dirt, neatly piled up against my antique steamer trunk. Something was diligently building a nest made with my potting soil. Did the little thief need a hit of Miracle-Gro?

The first thing I did was poke a finger into the hole in my sack. Fortunately, there was nothing on the other side of the hole except dirt. The next thing I did was swear at the mound of dirt. And the final thing I did was set the mouse trap beside my trunk.

The following morning the trap was sprung. The peanut butter was gone. And there was nothing in the trap. Okay, mechanical failure. I re-set the trap. Next morning: sprung trap; no peanut butter; no mouse.

I can only assume the creature is a giant rat, so big that he can reach in, grab the peanut butter, and retreat with the treat. We plan to get a glue trap. So, if you see a giant rat wandering around town with a glue trap stuck to his foot, he is probably ours. Offer him some peanut butter, it’s his fave.

Jackie Hope is the longest running Dickinson Press contributor and columnist. "Hope's Corner" is a weekly humorous column centered on a message of hope for residents in southwest North Dakota.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Dickinson Press, nor Forum ownership.

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