Monday, October 15

The nickel

In late August, a bag of potatoes kept in the basement showed obvious signs of having been attacked by a rodent. It had been many, many years since we last dealt with mice in the house and the idea that there was an unknown entry point somewhere was not a notion that I wanted to entertain. Perhaps it was a one-off, finding its way through the drainage system. At any rate, I resolved to live-trap the creature and release it outside.


My first attempt at a trap was ill-conceived. The container was too light. The twelve-sided Fiji 50-cents coin providing access to the container, too stable. And the paper underlay, too tearable. By early September I had corrected my deficiencies. A heavier plant pot propped up by a round Canadian nickel on a small glass plate:


The bait was peanut butter smeared on the inner wall. The next morning I found the nickel beside the fallen pot and, turning the whole thing over, a mouse inside. After releasing it I reset the trap and, looking every few days, found no more disturbances that month.

Last Wednesday, Catherine went into the basement to check on an unrelated matter and accidentally sprung the trap. A closer inspection showed the peanut butter gone and mouse droppings on the table. Argh! So I set it up again and the next morning snapped this photo of my second capture:


Yesterday morning I had a third one! So when in the pre-dawn hours today I heard a sound in the basement, I was fairly apprehensive. The pot had dropped but there was no mouse inside. The nickel was not on the table and it was not anywhere obvious on the floor underneath but I was in no mood to search for it. A few hours later I checked my wallet for another nickel but I did not have one. I must ask Catherine for one when she comes down for lunch later!

It was a rainy morning and I left Bodie's walk a little later than normal. Near my usual juncture on the walk I prepared to cross the street.


As I stepped off the curb I noticed something shiny on the road. I wondered: What are the odds?

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