Friday, February 02, 2007

The Taming of the Shrew








We have a shrew loose in our house. Yes- you heard me right I said a SHREW loose not a SCREW loose, which in this house would make a lot more sense! Or I should say we had a shrew loose. It all started last week when I walked into the bathroom one day and heard a scratching sound and thought uh-oh, a mouse. Then I looked out and screamed, "There's a MOLE in the bathroom!" It looked like a mole with non-visible eyes and a pointy snout, but was the size of a large mouse. My husband and little guy came running to check it out, and then much to all of our amazement it ran across the floor and squeezed head first down a teeny tiny hole in the corner of the room! It was very exciting, but my little guy wouldn't go into the bathroom alone after that. We did some internet research and found out that although it looked like a mole, it was actually a Northern Short-tailed Shrew.
A couple of nights later we were all in the living room and one of the older boys saw the shrew in the living room. It ran under the couch and we could hear it munching on a little crust of bread it found under there (have I mentioned that I'm not the best housekeeper in the world?) So naturally the kids also fed it a graham cracker, and named it George. This time my little guy wouldn't get off the couch for a couple of hours after the shrew sighting!
The next morning it was in the entertainment cabinet and we tried in vain to catch it, but it was so little and fast. Later that day, we saw it drag it's cracker into the hole in the wall it was coming in and out of. Apparently they can eat half of their own weight every day! At this point, we were starting to get a little annoyed with the shrew, cute as it was. We also found out that it has poisinous saliva, is one of the only mammals with that characteristic, and that they can be viscious carnivores! This coupled with the fact that we didn't want our tv wires to get chewed, not to mention that my 3 year old wouldn't go in the bathroom alone and was constantly talking about being scared of the shrew, we decided that it had to go. Not to mention that I didn't exactly relish the thought of a house filled with shrew poop! So that night my husband brought home some no kill traps. Our plan was to catch it and let it go in the park. Well, the traps were more like a revolving door shrew diner, they didn't work at all!! I actually saw it in the so called "trap" eat it's bait and run right back out! I started to think, as guilty as I would be, we may just have to get a non no-kill trap if we don't get rid of this dumb rodent soon!
So very late last night my husband comes into our room and says, "Honey, I caught the shrew!" He had put food in a bucket and attached a rope to it and when George went in to eat it, he got caught. I went out to see him this morning, and there he was in the bucket, with a sign on it that said, "Do not touch, shrew trapped inside!" George did not enjoy his plastic bucket captivity much at all and jumped up and down scratching to get out for several hours. This morning we trekked to the park to let him back into the wild- to find some more shrew friends as my little guy put it. He seemed to enjoy his new leafy home in the woods. All in all, it was quite an adventure but hopefully the adventure is over and there aren't more little shrew friends hiding in the wall, esp a pregnant Mrs. Shrew! My little guy actually became less afraid of him and started to make up stories about what he was doing so we made a little stuffed fleece shrew so we wouldn't miss George. The fun just never stops at our house!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have more adventures than anyone I know. Sounds like the fun we had with the mouse. I think we finally got rid of it, but not before she or he left their mark in the pantry.

Mom/Nana