... if we sell the house, do we charge extra for the mice???
We have to go back several decades to start this story
about Melrose and it's quirks. It's a pretty steady town,
well-to-do, so full of houses that planners are re-
building all along the railroad right of way. Build
upward, that is. Tall. Like, apartment buildings
There is some usable land off Swains Pond Avenue,
adjacent to Mount Hood Golf Course, but the aldermen
turned down a petition to build a group of houses --
too many, too crowded for what little woodlands are
But this story is about a different kind of resident: Mice.
The story takes place over a number of decades ago --
probably the 1970's. One fall day, my wife Lorry thought
she would make a front door decoration, a wreath,
really. She had found three ears of old corn, added
some ribbons, and tacked it to the front door.
It looked really nice on our Cape Cod front door, but
when the weather turned really cold, she switched to
something akin to Christmas. The corncob wreath went
upstairs to daughter Nancy's old room -- Nan had
subsequently grown up, got married and moved to New
Hampshire. Her old room became storage.
The years went by and we forgot about the corncob
wreath -- until this past year. Until this past fall. The
wreath remained on the front door until the Christmas
season came along. We switched to a Christmas wreath,
and the corncob job went back to rest upstairs.
Everything was fine until Lorry decided she had to clean
out Nancy's old room. She found the corned decoration
in an open box, which she brought downstairs. It wasn't
until we went to tack it up that we discovered that there
wasn't a single kernel of corn left on our three ears.
It was obvious. A mouse had taken up residence and
survived the cold weather on free corn. Nice.
We discussed the problem -- our best bet was to make
a trip down to Whittemore's Hardware for a bag of small
mouse traps. We caught several before the bait-cheese
pieces went stale. It's not a pleasant thing to do -- that
is, down-load a dead mouse. But I did it.
Now we are more careful about what we store in Nancy's
old storage room. Even then, we catch another mouse,
now and then. This past year they invaded us again, this
time finding food left out on the kitchen counter. It's not
fun to have to download, or off-load, or get rid of a
We still haven't solved the question of whether or not to
use the corncob wreath in the fall. I mean, visitors
looking closely would see that we sacrilegiously used
well-used corncobs for a wreath.
Life sure does have it's problems. Comments are invited.
April 1, 2016