I try not to disparage our animal friends, but just between you and me, I don’t care much for mice.
We now live next to an open field of native grass in Bel Aire, and so far, we haven’t had serious problems with them. But when we lived north of Rose Hill, we had a fairly large house with lots of mouse-size entryways and 20 acres of grass for hiding.
The resourceful varmints took advantage of both. They took advantage of me, too. We humans may have a size advantage, but we can’t match mouse guile. They don’t set traps for us, but if they did, they’d catch us every time.
By contrast, humans generally aren’t very good at trapping mice. The mice have learned how to get the cheese or peanut butter without getting caught. If mice laugh, they probably guffaw and slap their little knees when we set a trap and it snaps on our fingers, smearing our thumbs with peanut butter in the process.
You probably wonder why mice spend so much time getting into our houses when there is a mouse trap-free world outside. They do it to eat our food — all of it if they can get their paws on it.
Although no bigger than a baked potato (which they would happily eat), the smallest mouse consumes a tremendous amount of food.
The average house mouse weighs about 20 grams and eats three grams of food per day. He or she must eat about 20 times a day to get this done. They’re successful mostly because they are natural-born high jumpers. They can leap as high as 18 inches to get at your flour and sugar. There are 30 known species of mice, and they all eat 15 to 20 times per day. It’s no wonder they build their nests near their food supply.
Once a female mouses becomes pregnant, she will deliver five or six babies in 18 to 21 days. Assuming half will be female and begin reproducing in six weeks, mice can multiply pretty quickly.
However, the average mouse lives only five or six months in the wild. That’s why you never see one walking with a cane.
There is an exception: On Nov. 18, Mickey Mouse will turn 95 years old. Happy Birthday, Mick.
Contact Ted at firstname.lastname@example.org.