Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Poor Choices

By Rob Watson

I believe that at least some of you readers have made poor choices from time to time. This blog is a chronicle of a small sampling of my poor choices. The subject came up a few days ago and was renewed yesterday by a visitor to my new home, my Fishing Cabin as I call it.

This cabin is surrounded by a forest. The trees are mostly 90 feet (30 meters) tall. Outside the area of the yard, the underbrush ranges from thick to impassable. Lots of varmints live there. I have seen squirrels, rabbits, and one coyote. I have caught three mice. Evidence abounds of wild hogs, mostly rooted up sections of my yard. Though Wife and I have made an effort to limit varmint access to the area under the cabin, it is not unusual to hear thumps, bumps, and gnawing in the night.

Because the floor under the bath tub has been damaged (and desperately needs repair) there is a hole through that area and varmints like to take up residence there. One would think rats or squirrels would be fairly quiet but they are not. My cursing and energetically pounding the sides of the cast iron tub, seems in no way to discourage what ever is there.

Though I am an occasional hunter, I am not a killer by temperament. Even bugs, flys and mosquitoes excepted, get a free pass if they stay outside my home. Therefore the idea of killing my visitors came slowly. The first prompting came when I caught a mouse alive. I put him in a 30 gallon trash barrel and fed him mouse poison. Took him nearly a week to die.  Next I saw a mouse dash from the living area to the kitchen. Speeding up the killing process seemed prudent. I bought a trap and set it in the kitchen. When it snapped I found the mouse, caught by the nose, and very much alive. I took him outside and smashed him with something. I hate to see animals suffer, even mice. The third mouse was fortunate enough to put his whole head in the trap and died instantly.

Things got serious when some varmint, most likely a squirrel, caused $300 damage to Wife's van by chewing through three of six spark plug wires. I have a tendency to let things slide but this was a bit over the top. Wife, on the other hand, elevated herself to mortal enemy to all varmints. (Due to shoulder injuries she cannot fire a shotgun so now I am in the process of creating shot shells for my revolver.) This sent her looking for the poison I had used earlier.

This brings us to the poor choices with which I began this post. A mouse, in search of food, had gnawed his way into the box of poison and eaten some.

Wife bought more poison, conveniently packaged in little trays, and put it out under the van, the motorcycle, and my truck. It is not clear if the spark plug wire culprit "got his" but the poison keeps disappearing. I, being the cheapskate I am, buy the poison in whole boxes, without the convenient little trays... I just reuse and refill the ones remaining after I ran over the one under the truck.

The varmint under the tub has died. I found him while crawling around under the house trying to get water to a sink in the laundry room. He has been replaced. Nearly a half cup of poison has disappeared from the handy trays in the last 24 hours. The trays have been refilled and I have high hopes that the new resident under the tub will continue the poor choices of his predecessors.

No comments:

Post a Comment