As northern winter sets in, many a hard-working man will return from his labors at dusk, exhausted, hungry and looking forward to something good on the table. In too many cases that will be the man’s hysterical wife and possibly a young daughter up there as well. He’ll know what that means: There’s a mouse in the house!

When that happens to you, mister, forget about your supper. You had a tough day and you were hoping to be the pampered bread winner, but you have other roles to play now. First, there is the reassuring father figure, soothing and coaxing the terrified pair down from their perch, promising if an enraged mouse should suddenly leap out from his hiding place, you will throw your body between them and his gaping jaws.

Next, you’re the investigator questioning the panic-stricken witnesses. “Where were you standing when the mouse attacked?”…….”After he grabbed the broom from your hand, in which direction did he run?” None of this helps. They’ve retreated to inside the hall closet now and all their replies are muffled.

Finally you’re the famous safari hunter following the spoor. Ignore the mashed potatoes and scattered broken dishes on the kitchen floor. These are the results of panicky random shots and misfires. But there is a definite pattern of cutlery, pots and half-cooked pork chops near the radiator. Your prey is definitely holed up there, possibly wounded and dangerous.

This is the moment of truth! If this beast eludes you now, you will have to set a dozen traps and eat all your meals at McDonald’s for a month. Steeling your nerves, you grasp your trusty weapon, a finely balanced 11-EE slipper and move in. “Yah!” you shout feeling the primeval instinct of the hunt and the primeval shock of pain as your knee collides with the radiator.

The prey is now the predator and he is charging as you take aim. “WHAM!…WHAM!…WHAM! Three rapid shots from your high-powered Montgomery Ward slipper and it’s over.

Back at base camp outside the hall closet you struggle to appear modest. “You can come out now. I’ve taken care of him.” The door opens slightly. “Are you perfectly sure? ” They emerge cautiously.

“Absolutely!” you reply holding up your trophy.” But that was a very big mistake. They reenter the closet swiftly, tangling with the overcoats and umbrellas.

“You’ve killed him! they shout . “You weren’t supposed to kill him!”

“What were my choices? The animal shelter doesn’t take mice and he was native born so I couldn’t have him deported.”

“The poor little thing. His mommy will be so sad,” your daughter cries.

“If his mommy shows up tomorrow, dear, jump up on the table and scream your condolences.”

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