Redwall. Mossflower. Martin the Warrior. Stuart Little. The Mouse and the Motorcycle. Poppy. Ragweed.
If these titles are familiar, congratulations! You were a childhood nerd and a softie. We also would have been the best of friends, as these books filled my prepubescent days.
These novels also share a darker, more nefarious purpose. They all take disgusting rodents and elevate them to hero status. The mice protagonists lure unsuspecting children into rooting for them, tricking generations into believing that mice are just misunderstood. All a mouse needs is some pluck and understanding, and then they can achieve anything. Besides, how adorable are those velvety ears and pert little noses, right?
Wrong. This vile propaganda is spewing lies about the adorability of pests.
Because mice? Aren't cute. Aren't intelligent. And aren't worthy of any adoration. They are DISGUSTING.
A couple of days before I left town for winter break, I was innocently sitting on the couch when something flashed in my peripheral vision. An ominous brown streak. I looked down just in time to see the tip of a tail zoom underneath the couch. After a small shriek and the slightest of Tom Cruise-esque couch jumping, I calmed down enough to acknowledge the truth. I had mice. Checking the kitchen only confirmed my worst fears, as small, brown ovals peppered the floors and utensil drawers like confetti left over from some Hantavirus-themed party.
The kitchen was thoroughly cleaned and the mousy invader was cornered and caught. I promptly named him Humphrey, because some sensitivity from a childhood full of anthropomorphizing mice remained. He was humanely disposed of, the problem was solved, and I headed off for a D.C. Christmas with nary a care. Cut to a week and a half later, when I returned home to pure carnage.
Poop. Poop everywhere.
Counters were sprinkled, forks and knives were garnished, and the cabinet floorboards were carpeted with lamentable leavings. There was no safe place. It was utter violation, with danger and disease around every corner. My own home was no longer secure, and unfortunately the childhood heroes were to blame. Unwelcome masses had taken over. It was time to take a leaf out of Mr. Alice Cooper's playbook.
The gloves were off (well, technically they came on, as I disinfected that kitchen to near toxic levels). My rose-colored, animal-loving glasses were lifted. The nine-year-old in me would have loved to set up boundaries, some type of compact ensuring that as long as the mice stuck to their corner, they were free to cohabitate. But mice are idiots. They are too stupid to control their bowels, which means they are completely incapable of signing the legal documents I drew up. Warfare was the only answer. Empathy was dead. Drastic measures were taken. The threat was eliminated, and life has returned to normal here on the homefront.
But consider this a PSA. Mice. Despite the lies of youth, they are not innocent. They are not cuddly. And when they come, they're coming for you. Make sure you get them first.