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Column

I think mice are rather nice

Except when they get into the house!

I think mice are rather nice!

Their tails are long, their faces small,

They haven’t any chins at all;

Their ears are pink,

Their teeth are white,

They run around the house at night;

They nibble things they shouldn’t touch,

And no one seems to like them much,

But I think mice are nice!

Mice get a bad rap! Honestly, if you were their size and lived outdoors, what would you do when it turned cold? If you say you wouldn’t seek a nice warm place, where there was a cupboard full of goodies to munch, and stacks of newspapers to turn into a cozy little nest, you’re lying.

But cozy and warm comes with hazards, like seemingly harmless morsels (like yummy peanut butter or a healthy chunk of tempting cheese). Thinking kind thoughts about those huge humans who set out an irresistible little snack, you take the bait only to be snapped in a trap. Not a pretty sight.

Then there’s things like d-CON — tasty but lethal.

Okay, I have to admit — I know from firsthand use d-CON works. Our second home in Princeton on Hidden Lake Drive was backed up by a cornfield. Never having had to deal much with mice before, we never gave much thought to where they lived or went when it turned cold. When we moved into that house, we didn’t know we had signed up for a crash course in “Rodent Habitat 101.”

Yes, they do leave their nasty little droppings around as evidence of their presence. And more than once, as I opened a cupboard door or drawer, I was startled by a dark little piece of fur scrambling out.

“OOH!” I slammed the under-the-kitchen-sink door, and “bloop,” a cute little conked-in-the-head mouse gracefully fell out, nose first, onto the kitchen carpet – DOA. Time for d-CON!

While d-CON – BEWARE. One never knows where the victims will burrow in to die. Your only clue may be a rotting-dead odor. I never did find the one in the hall closet.

But never fear, the fumes last only four to five days. At least some of the little critters had the courtesy to come out in the open, or they kicked the bucket on the way to their hiding place. We would find them lying in the middle of the floor, either half or totally dead.

Our daughter, Tracy, was in the early stage of learning to walk when she came wobbling down the hall, laughing and full of delight with the prize she was holding in her hand — tail up! UGH!

“Jerry, come here quick!” I wasn’t about to touch them. After all, while mice are cute, they do carry diseases!

As Jerry bent to take the mouse from Tracy, it tried to jump out of her hand. Heck, that furry little mouse was far more fun to play with than any of the hard plastic toys in her toy box.

After Tracy’s incident, I was determined to find out why we were having such a problem with furry vermin. It was obvious: with their summer habitat plowed up, they were left homeless and hungry, but it seemed the whole community had taken up residence in our home, and my charity stretched only so far.

After checking inside and out for the point of entry, I discovered a window in our rarely used basement storage room had been left open – easy-peasy! I closed it and — Shazam! — it was amazing how fast the mouse population diminished.

OK, so now you know, I’m not above finishing off those little furry pests known as “mice,” but I can’t help but have a little heart for the cute, innocent-looking, little stinkers. It would be nice, however, if they spent the winter months in a cozy old barn nesting in a pile of hay instead of in my home.

Now, I want you to think of all the little children’s picture books, and animated movies, featuring mice. You’ll never see anything cuter. Their image is not far from the actual living example. How can you not hold just a teensy little bit of compassion for one of God’s awesome creations?

“I think mice are rather nice!”

Don’t forget to F-R-O-G.

Note to readers: Earlene Campbell lives by the FROG motto — Fully Rely On God. She lives in Princeton and can be reached at

earlenecampbell@rocketmail.com.

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