Sometime in July I noticed a mouse outside, I didn't notice the length of the tail, so it may have been a vole instead.
Sometime in August I noticed mouse droppings in the basement. I cleaned them up and made a note to check later to see if this was an actual mouse or a tourist mouse. I still remember the Great Mouse Infestation of '87, during which we trapped and drowned thirty-one mice, until we found a dead mouse made up of 30% testicles, obviously Big Daddy Mouse, and we haven't had mice since then.
I told Gary about my concerns. He checked the birdseed we were storing in the basement. It was free of gnaw holes.
The next week there was a trail of birdseed from the basement to the back door from where Gary had brought up a bag. Gary had to acknowledge that bag had been chewed some time that week. "I'll get some traps."
The NEXT week there was a very noisy manic mouse running around in the walls.
Gary did indeed get the traps the next day. He kept referring to "our mouse."
"Mice," I would correct him.
"No it's just one mouse." I reminded him of the thirty-one mice we had last time he said that.
Last week we found one mouse affixed to a trap. We did not preform a mercy drowning and let him pass on naturally in the garbage bin.
The mice have come inside to avoid the Hawk Killing Machine. Earlier this summer a hawk stared Gary down as it killed one of the "sweet little birds" he fattens up.
This weekend, as we enjoyed our breakfast, a hawk swooped onto our patio. All I could think to do was yell, "Hawk," as it flapped its majestic wings and eyed our barbeque.
Gary cursed the hawk and chased it into a tree with the broom. Then he beat on the tree with the broom for about five minutes, yelling all the while at the "motherfuckeringbastard hawk." I usually like that type of language to be reserved for just the two of us, but the neighbors got to enjoy it this time.
Later, he was taking a shower while I was staring out the kitchen window, when I saw the hawk swoop past the patio and on to some rocks.
"HAWK" I screamed, but Gary couldn't hear.
The hawk then hopped into a garden bed, flattened itself out, and waggled like a gator under the dwarf Mugo pine. I spotted the wren that was hiding there. The wren flapped out the other side just as another hawk swooped past and reached for it.
"HAWKS" I screamed. What I should have screamed was, "HAWK DOUBLE TEAM MURDER MACHINE" because that's what it was, a beautiful ballet designed to flush out and kill this teeny wren.
The wren escaped, somehow. The second (murderer) hawk roosted in the tree, while the first (flusher) hawk vacated to the arbor and looked disgusted. "I did a great job getting that wren into the open. How did you not catch that?" Then he flapped away.
So, Gary has purchased a top-of-the-line goose decoy for our house. I don't know why, but hawks fear geese.
The Circle of Life! Hawk eats wrens, hawk eats mouse, mouse eats seed, and if goose scares hawk this means we'll be overrun with mice by the end of the year.