Friday, January 23, 2009

Of Mice and Irony

We were visiting Daddy's sister and her family in Aztec, NM for the weekend. Being the three day weekend coinciding with Daddy's birthday, that was my gift to him- to get him to his sister's house come hell or high water. Luckily we ran into neither hell nor high water. Instead we ran into our old friend Irony.

We have a 26 year old niece who owns a snake named Vlad. Vlad, is seems, was in need of food. Food in the form of a live mouse. Which reminded me of a story:

When I was in my twenties, I had my own pet snake named Sning. She was named that because she loved to curl around my fingers just like a character in a novel by my favorite writer, Piers Anthony. The name was short for SNake rING. Eventually, she too became big enough for a live mouse as food. During one excursion for mice, I made a trip with my parents to Las Cruces as all the pet stores in my hometown were either closed or didn't have any mice of the right size. I went to the pet store where I got my mice during the school semesters and picked out three "hoppers" - mice around a week old. On the trip back home, I felt something furry crawling across my lap and SCREAMED! All three mice had gotten out of the box and were somewhere in my mother's car. In the end, we only found two. One died somewhere in the upholstery and smelled up the car for months and then every time it got really New Mexico hot.

I told this story to Daddy's sister and her daughter because it was funny. Little did I know history was about to repeat itself. I took my niece for a day out, just us girls. Our first stop was to pick up a mouse for Vlad. We'd discussed stopping by her apartment to feed him before heading back out to town since I had left my purse and we had to go back to her mom's house anyways. Well, we picked up the purse....and went to the mall, completely forgetting the mouse. Ate some lunch, which we needed to get our brains working (we should've done first), did a little shopping and headed out of the mall. First thing my niece says as we bask in the warm New Mexico winter weather is: "We still have the mouse in the car!!!" Both of us hurried to the car and she looked at the box. Her heart did a little leap as she saw the box was still in one piece until she lifted it up and it was a little too light. Turning to the other side of the box, she discover a small hole and no mouse. We searched the car, while I laughed the entire time and commented that at least the mouse wouldn't starve because of all the pretzels, Goldfish, etc. my kids have all over the floor. No luck. I sheepishly called Daddy and asked him if he remembered the mouse/car story - yes, he did. "Well, honey. I did it again" I could totally hear his sister laughing in the background while he told me to come home and we would find it. We had to go back to the pet store for another mouse in case we didn't find the one in the car and Vlad couldn't go hungry. We even discussed how we would explain to the clerk why we were back for another mouse. ("We got home and started the sacrifice but it didn't work. Come to find out that mouse wasn't even a virgin." We laughed at that but then decided to go with the truth because we didn't want to scare folks) We got another mouse, they offered to sell us a very small carrying case at $14.00 but I told the clerk I'd just have my niece recycle a spaghetti sauce jar. Then we girls decided we needed to catch the mouse so we headed to Wal-Mart and got a couple of humane traps because I wasn't going to have that thing die in my car. Got to the house and set the traps with peanut butter, might as well give the thing salmonella, too. The next morning, success! One slightly frozen but still alive mouse was in one of the traps ready to thaw out and be fed to Vlad.
One of Daddy's co-worker laughed that we'd gotten humane traps to keep the mouse alive just so we could escort it to it's death at the jaws of Vlad. Mice and Irony, yep, that just how we roll!

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