I May Have Killed a Mouse…


Not too long ago, I pulled down the stairs to my attic and climbed up. To my disappointment, as I arrived at the top, I found a large trail of droppings that could only mean one thing: we have a mouse.

This scenario frustrates me, but not for reasons one may assume. I know mice can cause so much damage through chewing wires, burrowing in insulation, and scavenging through food cabinets. Their droppings are unsanitary, and with 2 small children who eat everything they find on the floor, that thought is a bit terrifying.

So what it’s a father and homeowner to do? Set a trap, of course! But the problem is, the thought of doing so makes me feel horrible! I hate the idea of having to kill something. As far as the mouse is concerned, it’s simply trying to survive a cold winter someplace warm. I can’t help but to wonder what that must feel like, trying to survive, possibly fending for your family, only to be given a death sentence simply for your will to live.

I am often conflicted about our humanistic vision of ourselves as the lords of the land, having dominion over all other life. What gives us the right to make such a choice? What gives us such power?

I wish there was a better way. However, to catch it and release it in the wild would be a sure death sentence, since we have over a foot of snow on the ground. So what other choice do I have? None.

With regret, guilt, and remorse, I set the trap. Now I must wait for that inevitable snap that brings death in the name of protecting my home. But as I sit here waiting, I can’t help but to wonder: Is there a better way? And if there is, what does our choice to simply kill say about ourselves and society?

If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them!