Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mouse Tales

Do animals pass knowledge to their children like humans?  I wonder this. I think that they must.  

We have lived in this house for 3.5 years and the only time there has been an animal in our pool is when my husband scared a little bunny and it fell in the pool. I am very afraid of the animals that could be in the pool’s traps.  The thought crosses my mind every time I empty them.

Two weeks ago, the fear I have been dealing with finally came true- I opened the lid to the trap and there was a long tail with leaves all around.  I looked more closely (I have been startled by “animals” that weren’t there before).  There was fur.  I was convinced that there was a giant rat in the pool filter.  I dropped the lid and ran back inside.  I could hear the cat laughing at me in my head.

Upon further inspection a few hours later, I determined that it was mouse, not a giant one, either  My husband had to empty the trap that evening.

Over the next weeks, we had two more mice in the traps.  Each time the mouse was smaller than before. A family who made the choice to build their home too close to the deadly swimming pool.

Why has it been 3.5 years before we had any mice in the pool?  Is it because they pass on the knowledge from generation to generation that it’s not a good idea to build their nest in that area?  Did this family unknowingly make a bad choice?

I still remember the first time I saw a dead mouse.  We were living in Wisconsin and my dad had seen a mouse so we went to the hardware store and bought some mouse traps.  I remember helping him bait them and place them in the room with the wood burning furnace.  My brother had a little “man cave” down there.  He came upstairs to tell me that we had caught a mouse.  I was super excited and I grabbed my dad and went downstairs to find this adorable little white mouse with the pinkest little feet and nose.

Poor mouse.  She was so pretty.  I was upset that I had been excited about killing her-  I wished that we had bought a “no kill” trap and taken her to live her mouse life in an appropriate environment.

I imagine that the family of mice that died in our pool were curious, looking for a better life, a better home.  They chose to make their home close to water and that killed them. Father mouse went out to “get some dinner” and he didn’t return.  Mother mouse went looking for him and she didn’t return.  So baby mouse was forced to go and find his own food.  He too drowned the same way as his parents. Their accidental death was directly caused by their choice to nest near the swimming pool.

I have been reminded over and over that my choices are what determines my quality of life and ultimately my survival.  

In the modern human economy, Darwin’s theory, “Survival of the Fittest” is actually “Survival of the Choices”.  Humans are not dictated by our physical attributes as much as by our choices.  Everyone has the opportunity to make good choices and bad.  As adults, our health, safety and economic class are products of our choices not chances. Nobody else is responsible for these things for us.

Live responsibly.