The first thing he did was ask me if I was sure. I love this. Many times, people as me if I can tell that a mouse has been in a particular place for "SURE." After all of these years, I can almost spot mouse poop at fifty paces without my glasses--and I have a darn strong eyeglass prescription.
Well, step number one in our battle plan was to visit the local hardware and buy traps. Birk, who was listening to our conversation on the way to the hardware store, was arguing that we should live trap the critters and set them free outside of the house.
No matter how we tried to explain that putting the mice from inside the house to outside the house was not going to help our cause. She was adamant that we should not trap and kill the mice. We tried to explain that it's kind of like putting Brer Rabbit in the brier patch, after all, the mice know their way back home.
After the hardware store stop, we were making the longer drive to get groceries, about an hour's drive away. Birk had asked us to stop at Marble Lake Lodge's restaurant Ate to Ate. We agreed and started the drive. On the way, I looked back and tears were streaming down her face: she had seen the traps in the hardware bag.
At the restaurant, she refused to eat. We ordered her food anyway, including a big, thick chocolate shake. We reasoned. We cajoled. Finally she ate and we continued on with our day. Problem solved for the short term.
Two funny things happened after that. The first, is at the end of the summer, weeks later, I was helping Birk to clean her room and put everything away for the season. In the corner of her room, under some stuffed animals and cast off clothing, were the mouse traps. She had taken the traps and hidden them all summer!
The second thing that happened has to do with the Story of Stuff. She was assigned to watch the YouTube video. After watching it, she had to make an action plan to help save the Earth. Her action plan is to have people donate gently used clothing and bedding to people in need. It also includes encouraging more people have and shop at garage sales.
She likened people being held hostage by possessions like a hungry mouse. The more human food that the mice had, the more human food they would try to steal. If the only food we provided was in a trap, then they would have to brave the danger to get the food. However, if we gave them food, then they could live happily with us and wouldn't have to steal the food.
Living in harmony with the mice population, I will have to give that some thought.