Friday, February 29, 2008

He Made a Study of Mice


And Concludes That They Have a Keen Sense of Humor

Few people understand the mystery of mice. I think I can, without immodesty, claim to understand mice, for I have made them a study for many years. I used to think that nature supplied mice, wherever there seemed to any call for them. For example, if you live in a house where there are no mice and in a rash moment provide yourself with a mouse trap or set up a cat mice will immediately make their appearance. To the superficial observer this looks as if nature, perceiving that you have a mouse trap, proceeds to supply mice for it, or, noticing that you have a cat, sends mice enough to satisfy the animal. But this is not the true explanation. In order to understand mice you must grasp the fact that the mouse is an animal with a keen sense of humor and a love of excitement. With this key in your possession you can readily unlock the mystery of mice.

That the mouse has a sense of humor is conspicuously shown by the way in which he will rattle a newspaper in your bedroom at night. The mouse does not eat newspapers, nor does he put them to any domestic use. He merely makes a noise with them, knowing that of all sounds the midnight rustle of a newspaper is the one which will most successfully banish sleep from your eyes. If a mouse finds an eligible newspaper in your bedroom he will settle himself down to a night of fun and jollity. He will rattle that newspaper till morning, and the only effect of throwing boots at him or of getting up and lighting the gas and searching for him with a poker will be that he will hide himself till you lie down to sleep and then resume his little newspaper game. If this does not show a sense of humor it would be difficult to say what it does show.

Then there is the well known fact that no sooner does a mouse trap or a cat enter a house than it is followed by a troop of mice. Cats and traps draw mice as the pole draws the magnet. The mouse loves the game of teasing the cat by stimulating the latter's hopes of capturing mice. It is considered the height of fun among mice to scuttle across a room, in the presence of a cat and to disappear in a hole just as the cat is ready to pounce. Of course, now and then a too reckless mouse pays the penalty of rashness by being caught by the cat, but accidents of this kind are more rare among mice than football accidents among men and in no way render mice shy of the game. — Pearson's.

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