It was the third time that mice had taken up residence here in the house. On top of all the humans and their cats and dogs and friends that crowded into this here house, them little brown field mice found their way in again, too.
That first dog was a natural-born mouser. By the time My Lady and the Husband even figured out they had a mouse problem at all, the dog was hard at work. Inside. Outside. Didn’t matter where he was, he would make a sudden-like snap of his head, and before you knowed it he’d be licking his lips, the infernal rodent already swallowed up whole without so much as a trace.
That dog had been a squirrel-chaser from way back, but you always kinda wondered if he had any real seriousness about catching one, or if he was in it for the pure fun of the chase. Well, the day came — after many years of chasing he up and caught one, and that settled that. It was like the taste of blood had lent newfound meaning to his life, and from then on the big, gentle beast was forever on the lookout to up and kill any creature in his path that was not either a human or another dog neither.
My Lady might have worried about him swallowing all kind of mice, bones and claws and tails and all, cept for that time when he swallered up an entire roasting chicken they had left up on the kitchen counter to cool off for their family picnic. When they come in later there was not so much as a spot of grease or lick of skin or any sign a-tall that the bird had ever existed. The Husband had even surrounded the cooked-up bird with a sort-of barricade of forks and glasses and other kitchen things, every one of which stood right in its original place – a hedge of utensils surrounding nothing. Well, they called up the animal doctor, and he asked them to remind him how much the dog weighed. When they told him, he chuckled to hisself and said, you don’t need to worry a bit, cause that big boy won’t have any trouble with the likes of an 8-pound roasting chicken. The whole thing became one of those stories that families like to tell over and over at get-togethers; but anyhow my Lady knew that no little teeny mouse would cause a digestive disturbance to the noble dog, or even a whole passel of them.
They counted eighteen mice that the dog chomped down that one summer, and that was just the ones they was around to catch him at.
The second time them mice moved in, they was already on their second dog and the Husband was already the X. But while the first dog had the Killer Instinct, the second dog was one of them kind that never met a single other creature that she didn’t want to befriend and love up, so when the new batch of mice migrated into the house, she’d go right on up to them and poke at them with her nose, and dance little dance-steps around them, and do any crazy thing she could think of to get them to play with her.
My Lady didn’t feel right about killing the same little creatures that the Boy and the Little One had as pets all them years, so she did her best to ignore the whole rodent situation for a good long time. But once she and the Little One kept spotting them scuffling and skittering across the floors late at night, and all kinds of little holes were getting chewed in the bags lined up in the pantry, she decided she couldn’t ignore the dang things any longer.
She started out with the old-fashioned kind of mouse killer trap that’s been in existence as long as I have, the wooden things with the spring hinge where you put some kind of food that mice love to lure them in and then POW that hinge snaps down hard and kills ’em right fast. Well, it took about 2 or 3 mornings of my Lady checking them traps, only to find the bait clean gone and the trap unsprung – kind of like the whole chicken incident with that first dog – when sure enough she done sprung the trap on her own fingers in the checking process, and even though I heared movie upon movie with all kinds of language I could never even dream of, I ain’t never heard nothing like what come out of her mouth, and next thing you know the whole dang package of traps she bought was tossed in the garbage.