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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘dead mouse

How’s That?

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While Cyndie and I were away on Saturday afternoon, we had a new ranch helper recruit from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls stop by to care for our animals. We checked on her with a text message, and learned things were all good.

That was followed by this bizarre note:

“Also just FYI, there’s a dead mouse caught in your garage door.”

Excuse me?

She provided a visual aid.


How in the…?

Timing. It’s all in the timing.

Somehow, in the few minutes after opening the garage door, getting settled in the car, and our backing out, that mouse must have made its way onto the door. Did it drop from a rafter? Climb up from below? I have no idea.

I’m guessing that when Cyndie pushed the button on the remote to close the door, that critter’s tail dropped into the seam that opened between the door panels as they rounded the corner from horizontal to vertical. As fast as that seam opens up, it closes tight, and the mouse’s tail got pinched firmly enough that the poor thing was left helplessly hanging, head down.

Cause of death: Unknown.

At the risk of offering too much information, the body was not stiff when we finally returned home around dinner time.

We made sure to pull up close before opening the door, so we could see the spectacle for ourselves. There it was, hanging plain as day.

We opened the door using the remote and I watched to see the mouse drop when the seam opened as the door climbed the curve in the tracks. It didn’t budge.

We parked the car and I stepped outside while Cyndie took up a position at the button on the wall. I had her push the button to start closing the door until the seam opened and the mouse came into view, then shouted for her to stop it.

The mouse was stuck in place. I grabbed a stick and easily brushed the body free of the door and it fell to the ground, limp.

Who knew it was possible to trap a mouse between the panels of a garage door? Well, I do now.

I know a thing or two, because I’ve seen a thing or two, to borrow J. K. Simmons‘ current catch-phrase from a television commercial.

Just another normal day on the ranch.




Written by johnwhays

October 17, 2018 at 6:00 am

Spooky Creepy

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Is October the spookiest month of the year? Possibly. Maybe it was in honor of that, that our September ended last night with a nauseating amount of creepiness.

Feel free to stop reading right here and save yourself from reliving our horrors.


Couldn’t do it, huh? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

So, I was back at the ranch again last evening after work. Changed clothes and headed out to do some chores. First up, check the mouse traps that hadn’t been looked at for a day. The house garage was all clear. The shop still had a funky smell to it. The trap on the workbench was fine and the water bucket trap that had a chipmunk in it the other day was also untouched.

On my way back to the door, I smelled it. My brain flashed a memory of having placed an additional trap by the door! How many days had I been looking at the other two traps and completely forgetting about this one?

There was no question in my mind about there being something in the trap. It was behind a waste basket, on the floor beneath a small built-in bench. When I moved the basket, my eyes detected what looked like a wet spot around the trap. Yep, the rodent carcass was liquefying.

I carried the trap out toward the trees and tried to fling it as I squeezed the jaws of the trap open. It stuck in the trap. A second try got it to release, but it probably didn’t go as far as it should have. When I placed the trap back down on the floor to reset it, I spotted the pile of maggots on the wet spot.

The smell doesn’t really need description. Go ahead and imagine it yourself.

When Cyndie took Delilah out for a final walk of the evening, I headed downstairs to clean Pequenita’s litter boxes. We strain the litter and dump the scoop into a bag inside an empty plastic litter bucket. Once a week, we toss the collected waste. Last night the bucket was just one day short of full for the week.

As I was scooping, some movement in the bucket caught my eye. Yikes! It was the spookiest, nastiest, Halloween-end-of-October-looking spider I’ve ever seen indoors. It was the size and had the look of a kind of spider that I do not want to be anywhere near. With extremely impressive bravery, I snapped the lid tightly on the bucket, made kind of a whimpering squeaky sound, and dashed a hasty exit from the laundry room downstairs.

When I got upstairs, I found Cyndie had come back inside with Delilah. Cyndie was standing in the front sunroom with her hand over her nose and mouth, breathing funny. I paused, waiting for her to sneeze. The sneeze didn’t appear, and she held this pose and made that breathing sound long enough that I had to ask what was up.

She furtively was able to explain that she was trying not to throw up. Delilah had found something disgusting over by the shop.













Written by johnwhays

October 1, 2015 at 6:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

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