Sunday, November 9, 2008

Got Mice?

We've got them. In droves. They tend to live at the edges of the cabin in the summer, but they really burrow in when winter hits. When I'm home alone doing something quiet, I hear them gnawing away at the walls, in the closet under the stairs, underneath the kitchen sink. They leave their little tell-tale poops around the cat food dish (the nerve!) and will chew into bread bags, or even this summer, ripe peaches if left out on the counter. It makes one a better housekeeper, in an inverted way, having mice.

The wasps and the ladybugs that aren't true ladybugs, but an invader from Japan, and houseflies are also coming in from the cold. They don't last as long as the mice. I've been stung by more than one wasp wobbling across the dark floorboards, wondering where it has got to. I crush them on sight with the heel of a shoe. I have to repent their deaths everytime I bow my head at the end of yoga practice and say, "Namaste." (hypocrite!)

I found a poem this summer by Marge Piercy in her book, My Mother's Body. I find myself thinking of it everytime I get all high and mighty about extermination. The poem is called "Cowering in a corner." In it, she chronicles all the spiders she sees in her house and wonders, "What do they eat?" After denying that it is the mice, ants, wasps, etc., she concludes that it must be "the other/nine hundred thousand inhabitants of what/I foolishly call my house."

Mmm, hmm.

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