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Long ago, my wife came to me and said "we have mice in the kitchen." So, I said; "I'll set traps."

She said; "you can't do that; Molly will get into them." I said; "Molly will only get into them once, then she'll know better." "But I don't want her to get hurt!"

Molly is my wife's shi'tzu, far too small to be really called a dog - more of a rat, I think. In her defense, though, she is quite fierce. She gets points for making the most of what she has, but she's too small to be taken seriously.

Anyhow, I know how these discussions with my wife go. For anything I propose, she'll object ("but maybe the sun will go nova. Maybe the earth will collide with a black hole...") so I just don't go there. I said I'd set traps, she objected. I just shrugged and no traps were set.

Some time later, my wife comes up to me and says "we have mice upstairs now." I said; "I'll set traps." She said; "But Molly will get into them." I shrugged and no traps were set.

Some time later, my wife comes up to me and says "we have mice in the bedrooms and bathrooms now." I said; "I'll set traps." She said; "But Molly will get into them." I shrugged and no traps were set.

Finally, recently, she came to me and said "they're in the pantry and they've eaten the labels off a bunch of cans so now I don't know what is in them." I said; "they haven't eaten the labels, they're using them to make nests." She said; "you have to do something about this." I said; "I'll set traps." She said; "OK. I'll see to it that Molly doesn't get into them." (FINALLY!!!!!!!)

So, I set traps. Since then we have gotten 13 mice. They are still in the kitchen, and the bedrooms, and the bathrooms, and upstairs. Labels are still vanishing from cans. They have elected a mayor, town council, and school board. I saw their militia drilling on the living room floor recently. Maggie, our golden retriever (big enough to qualify as a dog but tempermentally more qualified as a rug) stares quizzically at them as they run from place to place attending to their business. Molly pretends they don't exist.

So I keep setting traps, but I think it is futile. I think we have reached the point that no matter how many traps I set, no matter how many mice I kill, their rate of reproduction will exceed my ability to eliminate them.

Lately I have noticed them watching me. They seem to be following me around; whenever I look around, there is a mouse or two staring at me from some relatively safe place. Just a few minutes ago, I saw Maggie, sleeping, moving across the family room floor in a curled up position. I looked closer, and saw a bunch of small tails sticking out from under her as she went. She never noticed, and I fear for her safety.

I haven't seen my younger daughter for awhile; went looking for her and she didn't seem to be anyplace. And now, I here a lot of squeaking, and from somewhere the tramp tramp tramp of marching feet, but the cadence and the timbre suggests that these are very small marching feet. I don't know what it means, but I fear the worst.

Look. I don't know how long I have, but if you don't here from me, tell my wife that
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