“What’s that metal thing in your hand Big Guy?” asked my little pal Pavo Rotti the parakeet.

“A mouse trap,” I said grumpily as I slid the small cage behind his portable TV.  I was in no mood to have do-gooders looking over my shoulder but when I saw the look of agitation on his face I quickly added,  “But don’t worry Pavo, it’s a Have-a-Heart.  Traps the animal.  Doesn’t kill it.”

Pavo’s voice ratcheted up a notch and a cloudy look came over his eyes.  “Now wait a minute Big Guy.  You’re not thinking of capturing my friend Ms. Musculus.”

“Yes, and her family too.  I’m tired of seeing the mess they leave behind.  And I hate all the holes in the cereal boxes.”

“But what do you plan to do with her?”

“Get her out of this house.  After that why should I care?”

“But she depends on me Big Guy.  And she eats very little.  Without the scattered leftovers from my feed cup, she’d go hungry.”

“Save your hearts and flowers Pavo.  She doesn’t belong in this neighborhood and I’m going to do something about it.  She’s been a freeloader too long.  And she and her family have come to depend on it.  Now she can go make it on her own.  They came under the fence down near the tracks and that’s where she’s going.  Back where she came from.”

“But those were her ancestors who came.  She’s a house mouse now.  Lived here all her life.  She has no ability to survive in the outside world.  She’s been living on our generosity ever since I came here.  Where’s your compassion?  She’ll starve.”

“Listen Pavo.  She’s the fourth generation to live in this house under these conditions.  Her problem is that she and her family have become dependent on us.  And those kids of hers are trapped in the same loop.  They figure it’s easier to hang out here and get handouts than it is to go to work foraging on the outside.  This will encourage them to break the cycle of dependence.  Do some honest work for a change.”

“But we don’t mind Big Guy.  Phydeaux the puckish poodle and I are willing to continue donating.  And Phallix the cat too, even though I suspect he’s got some ulterior motives.  We think it’s okay.”

“But I’m the one who has the ultimate say.  I know what’s best for the lot of you.  When I make rules around here, they apply to everyone.  And I’ve decided that if you can’t carry your weight, out you go.”

“But what role does Phydeaux play in our society?  He’s nothing but a big lazy layabout, dozing in front of the fire or sleeping in the sun on the porch.  What does he contribute?”

“He’s my security.  My police force.  He protects the house when we’re out.”

“And that cat Phallix.  I don’t understand the need for cats.  They have no redeeming characteristics.  And he’s always harassing me.”

“He protects us from marauders Pavo.  Especially squirrels.  Keeps them out of the bird feeder.  I know he was brought in originally to keep down the mouse population in here but Mrs. Big Guy feeds him nothing but Fancy Feast and now it’s not his fault he’s lost his edge.”

“But he snags a sparrow every once in a while and that makes me very nervous Big Guy.  And what about me?”

“As long as you continue to act as translator for your animal brethren I’ll keep you here.  But as soon as you begin to slack off, just keep in mind that nobody around here is invincible or irreplaceable.”

“But if you trap Ms. Musculus, what will happen to all her kids.”

“It’s not my problem Pavo.  But if she can’t take care of them, I’ll put them up for adoption.”

“But there aren’t many folks who will take in strays like these.  Especially those brought up under these conditions.  They’d be a poor adoption risk.”

“Look Pavo.  White mice make it very well in the medical field especially in genetic research and psychology.  If they can make it in those occupations, there’s no reason why Ms. Musculus’ kids can’t make it the same way.”

“But you don’t understand Big Guy.  Medical labs don’t want them.  Their mating is spontaneous and out of control.  She can’t tell who the daddies are.  If labs tried to use them it would only confuse their results.  They want only white inbreds.”

“And that’s another thing Pavo. They breed like flies and keep having babies at younger and younger ages. And they think, just because they have babies, we’ll keep supporting them.  Well, they’ve got to understand that the gravy train just left the station.”

Pavo stared at me for a while in silence.  I could see that he was digesting my arguments.  Finally he said, “Big Guy, I’ve never seen you in a mood like this before.  What’s going on?”

“It’s a new wave Pavo.  Sweeping the country.  Finally, we’re going to turn things around.  We’re going to turn Merika back to what it was fifty years ago, when family values meant something and the word pregnant was only used in the doctor’s office.  It’s a return to an old era Pavo.  Furthermore, we’re going to have to reduce your rations considerably if we have to take care of Ms. Musculus and her brood.”

Pavo’s eyes narrowed.  “Okay Big Guy.  I guess I see your point.  And while you’re at it make sure the door locks properly on that trap.  I’d hate to have those mousy panhandlers hanging around my cage all day just waiting for the fallout.”


About D. B. Guy

ex-traveler, ex-Navy vet, ex-depression baby, long time retiree, current lounge chair occupant, husband, grandfather, computer novice-junkie, man-about-town(ret.), jolly good fellow
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2 Responses to Trapped

  1. Jean says:

    Dear Mr. Guy,

    I was a little surprised at your last conversation with Pavo and your tough stance on members of your household menagerie. But then again…..

    Somewhere I read or heard that the evolutionary placement of the eyes in the head of all creatures can determine whether they are predators or prey. Can you confirm this? For example, if the eyes are placed side by side close together, that denotes a predator. It keeps the field of vision straight ahead to track down prey. If the eyes are on each side of the head, then the critter is prey to keep a lookout on all sides for predators. Example, the eyes of bovine are on the sides of the head while the eyes of wolves are close together. But then a house fly is supposed to have a hundred eyes! And we all know that mothers have eyes in the back of their heads.

    That brings us to homo sapiens. Hmmmm. All have eyes straight ahead so it is pretty hard to tell the predators from the prey just by looking at eye placement.



    • D. B. Guy says:

      Miss Jean;

      Were you a Biologist in an earlier life? You have much information that appears to be pretty much on track. As far as Homo sapiens is concerned, humans are omnivores with predatory instincts. Unfortunately their prey is often other humans which is a great waste of resources because otherwise, when humans hunt other animals they usually eat them.

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