Caught in a trap over the house mice

4th January 2008 at 00:00
The third Sunday of Advent saw me in a state of severe ethical compromise.

It all began the previous Wednesday when my son saw a mouse in his bedroom. I set an old wooden trap and caught the offending rodent the next day.

I told myself that the sleekit, cowerin, timorous and now deid beastie had made its way into my house when I left the door open to load the car with laptops, and that it was probably a lone representative of its species. This proved not to be the case, as another was seen a couple of days later.

I resolved to buy more traps. The moral dilemma came when I discovered that two sorts were available. There was the traditional, fatal type and also one which caught the mouse but left it unscathed. Both cost the same.

Arguments began to rage internally. If I caught a mouse in the humane trap and let it go, would it merely freeze outside? Would it find its way back in and have to be caught in a conventional trap anyway? How far away would I have to release it so that this didn't happen? Would there be a carbon dioxide penalty in taking it for a drive?

In the end, part of me - the part that won the argument - believed that the pinko trap wouldn't be as effective. I bought two.

The situation worsened when I got home. The yoghurts I had thought were raspberry when I bought them in the (evil, global conglomerate) supermarket turned out to be rhubarb. Nobody in the family would touch them.

I hate throwing out food, especially when it can't be composted, but out went the six-pack along with half a bag of pre-washed lettuce left over from the week before. In my defence, let me say that the salad went into the garden, to the probable delight of the few field mice who hadn't yet set up camp indoors.

Back in the kitchen, lying on the worktop like an array of v-signs, lay a bunch of fair-trade bananas. The message was clear: you've got a long way to go, liberal boy. I hadn't felt so compromised since the day I denounced private schools, then went home to tutor Standard grade physics.

Gregor Steele hasn't caught anything in his new traps yet.

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