Monday, January 28, 2013

The Tiniest Horrors



Sometimes it's the tiny things in life that are our biggest nightmares. Things that make grown men turn as white as the snow covered prairies in the dead of winter and ladies full of maturity shriek like a two year old. Kids growing up amidst the wheat fields in cheerful, tidy old houses and worn trailers know of these nightmares and know how to watch for the signs of them. 

At a young age, I remember opening the drawer in my Auntie's beautiful old farmhouse to my delight to see a plastic mouse - some great thing I thought that she kept toys in her kitchen. My Auntie was working hard to overcome her fear of mice and thought that by becoming so used to seeing this dreaded creature in her cutlery drawer, it might fill her with the strength to stay on the home place when, yes folks, a mouse was found in the house. 

I suppose my Aunts' came by their fear of mice honestly. Engraved in my mind is my red headed Irish Grandma going after a tiny grey creature, with the strength of ten men, in the aged farmhouse with a straw broom in hand. Our Grandpa, a hulk of a man and hero in our eyes, perched atop his chair, face bleached white too full of fear to holler. Luckily in our house, our Dad took care of these lil' "problems" and when I heard a rustling in my closet one night, and came out to let my folks know, Dad emerged from the bedroom in a short time, after some thumping abounded, and let me know it was fine to go back to bed, it was only a "big moth."

We were carefully trained as children to take a peek in our boots before we'd pull them on to head outside, so strong are the memories of my mom's of pulling on her chore boots only for her foot to meet a wriggling mouse. I am not sure what it is that makes us shriek, holler, and claim them as some of the nastiest creatures to endure out here in the wild west. Those little field mice, out there destroying crops, carrying disease and seeming to pop out of nowhere like some sort of terrible Halloween prank make so many plumb near lose their minds. 

So many of these stringy tailed creatures meet their fate nowadays in a bale buster, but in days gone by when  everyone set out bedding with small square bales, a much more fearsome blow was found - not so much for the mouse, but for the one who came across them. Family members love to tell the stories on my dad while bedding the cattle, when all of a sudden the giant man was doing the hippy hippy shake, ripping clothes off, as a mouse ran up his leg - the memory of it scurrying around his skin making him shudder now. Similar things happened to others, like my Uncle, but both men are quick to mention the neighbor lady who had a similar experience putting her hand in her pocket and screeching like a banshee. As she hopped around hollering, ripping at her coat, she somehow lodged that balled up wad of Kleenex in her pocket to realize that the "mouse" was just remnants of a cold.

Now, I know all those outside of the Alberta border, who don't know about the Alberta rat patrol, are probably scoffing at our arch nemesis and you'd like to tell your rat stories, but for now let me revel in my mice stories. Come Fall, when we are all crying and fighting the battle with any of these dreaded creatures, we'll commiserate, laugh, and curse the dickens out of them. We'll also know in our heart of hearts that along with the Red Tailed Hawk, the swift Pronghorns, and the old mother Badger, that the bitsy Deer Mice are more a part of these prairies than us grizzled old folks who have taken up residence here. It still doesn't mean we have to like them.



23 comments:

Gumbo Lily said...

First off -- what a hilarious commercial! Secondly, I really don't like mice either. I don't mind seeing them in the barns crawling along the side walls, but when I've had one in the house, it just sends me. I put plenty of mouse/rat poison outside around the house in the fall so we haven't had a mouse inside in years. I'm so glad. I hate 'em.

Jody

Steph said...

I have a fear of a snake in my boot. Thankfully, most of the time, it's just a stray lego.

Crystal said...

Too funny that commercial!

But here too i hate a mouse in the house. Pretty illogical that us grown ups can be so afraid of a tiny creature, but I think its the scurryong sound that is so creepy. We have good outside cats the generally keep our house mouse free but the occasional one makes it in (for a while)

Karen said...

LOL... well, I used to have mice as pets... silky mice! Red and white spotted, like a paint horse! Go ahead and google them, they're very pretty :-)

Grandma K said...

delightful! The story is delightful, not mice! They make me shudder too.....

Pom Pom said...

Fake mice. Good idea!
Bugs are what send me into orbit.

Shirley said...

The cats, owls, and coyotes here take very good care of the mice- and what they miss, my Victor Trap gets. I wish I could say the same about the spiders.

Lindsay(PACountryCrafts) said...

Oh, I would take a mouse over its larger relative any day of the week!

Thankfully, we have a great, white, mouse-catching cat outside now!

When I was a teenager, I once knocked a mouse out cold with my big, puffy cow slipper- it was the first thing I grabbed.

Nell said...

We're battling them in the barn right now. My daughter let out a hardy scream after scooping one up in the sweet feed sack. I had to stab it with the manure rake. It made me a hero for a whole day!

Anonymous said...

Well you have me laughing this morning Cheyenne. I've been having a little battle with these critters at the cabin this winter and now I know why I'm not catching them!!
Thanks for the chuckle!!
We have a real cold winter morning here today and I am grateful to be able to stay inside today. We haven't had that many so I will enjoy it for what it's worth.
Nana Steph

fernvalley01 said...

I have a fear of mice that has set me running across the yard with a plate of food for the barbecue in hand! after the little demon ran over my foot out from under the barbecue! Also once in the barn I came screaming out of the tack room after seeing one to meet our farrier face to face laughing , he asked ,"was it a grizzly bear?" I just said yes!

Vicky said...

Our house was built in what was once a farmer's field and being we are so close to the river- we have voles like crazy. We've had several in our house and oh the drama that ensued! I shudder at the thought- but was highly amused by your post!!

Bonnie said...

I don't care how cute those little mice are....I hate them. There is nothing good about them at all. Funny commercial.

The Goerzen Girls...and Art said...

My Girls loved this video! My parents had a mouse nest in their bbq over the winter, and my Girls were there to witness the hilarity that ensued! One time we were digging out our potatoes, and the mice had made nests in them. I caught the mice, we examined them carefully, and then fed them to Moses..

Jamie said...

Mouse in a chore boot??!!! I don't mind the critters, but I don't like the thought of that one!!!

Marty said...

Oh my! What a laugh I got outta that silly clip. My big ole tom cat is one of the best mouser I've ever had, he wants to bring them into the house to play after he's caught them...No but HECK No! Not having it...Just know that you are not alone.I hate the too!

quintuplicatemom said...

Mice, spiders and moths. (but mostly moths. I cannot abide them.) Thanks for a good chuckle on a bitterly cold snowy day!

Rachel said...

We don't have mice, thankfully, oh every now and then you may find one, but he is seen once, and no more. Good ole kitty cats that run around outside of the house, and to the barn.
I used to could stomp them, but, not anymore, something about the squish under my boots just doesn't work for me anymore... guess it was all for the brothers back when, I had to be tough! :P haha

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the seriously hilarious video! I appreciate your ability to make any topic common ground & how you write with such spunk! A gift you have indeed good buddy...can't wait to swap some mouse stories...thanks for the laugh I needed it today! Hugs....Barb

NaomiG said...

Nothing, I repeat NOTHING, freaks me out more than I mouse. And I come by it honestly. I remember hanging out on top of the kitchen table with my mom until my dad got home from work one day when I was four years old, or so. :-)

Libbie said...

Your poor mom finding a surprise in her boot!!! Yikes!!! I scream like crazy ;).

Alicia said...

Confession: I may have gasped when the trap snapped and cheered in my heart when it was strong enough to free itself.. Haha! Funny :)

Jessy @ WestEastern said...

I've nominated you for the Liebster Award! Come check it out and claim your award: http://westeastern.me/2013/02/17/the-liebster-award/

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