Of the best-chosen place – and the stupidest animals – in the world

Saturday morning I got a call from Neighbor D, who wanted a run to the landfill. D&L are going through one of their now-common periods where they’re simultaneously having mobility issues so (though it wasn’t mentioned) he needed the help, and also by tagging along I could empty one of my garbage barrels. I don’t generate a lot of non-compostable garbage, but what there is does tend to pile up so I was happy to tag along.

And on the way, as always I was struck by the wisdom with which this particular landfill was located. Landfills are usually unfortunate necessities, basically destroying large tracts of land that could otherwise have been put to more pleasant purposes. This particular one is set in a veritable moonscape

…of literally no use to man or beast. And I’ve never seen one more busily managed – it’s constantly being dug up, re-terraced, filled by trucks from all over the county, and enthusiastically re-buried. It’s like they have a very detailed 3D map of the same few thousand cubic yards of regolith and they’re determined to use every inch in the most efficient manner possible. I’ve been here over sixteen years and they’re nowhere near filling it up.

Meanwhile, (much) closer to home…

Yesterday there was one mouse frozen in the porch’s very busy bucket trap. I determined to wait till it melted in the afternoon to get it out, then the chore completely slipped my mind. This morning there were three drowned and frozen bodies there.

Which means two separate rodents climbed the ramp to the inviting liquid in the bucket, looked down on their very dead cousin, and each of them said to itself in turn, “Wow, look how well that worked out for him. Can’t wait to try it myself.”

This is like the third time this has happened – since cleaning the bucket trap is not my favorite chore and easily forgotten. And every time I am struck by the apparent fact that I have actually located and identified a species of creature stupider than a chicken – which is quite a sight to see.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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10 Responses to Of the best-chosen place – and the stupidest animals – in the world

  1. Stefan v. says:

    Why don’t you acquire a cat, if mice are such a vexation?

  2. jabrwok says:

    Outdoor cats tend to become coyote or hawk chow in short order out there. At least as I understand it.

  3. Robert says:

    RE outside cats: We had a bird fluttering against the front door window then dart into the nearby shrubbery trying to escape a hungry hawk. The hawk hopped around our porch and the bush trying to pick up lunch. Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler immediately sprang to mind. Fortunately, our snack-sized kitty was inside.

    Having an intelligent land-use policy and actually following it is a good thing.

    Apparently, the mice in your neck of the woods, er, desert, are suicidal. Be glad larger despondent critters (e.g., cattle) aren’t choosing your porch for their final resting place.

  4. Terrapod says:

    Wish that bucket trick would help with the idiot squirrel that is in my garage and does not seem to be able to use an open door to get out. He ate the peanut butter off my mouse drowner trap (bucket with rotating can on rod).and has escaped from the live trap once so far. Trying a better location for the bait at the moment. If he gets caught, is going to meet his maker, not releasing him to only find a way back in. Destructive buggers and poop everywhere. Sadly no garage cat available..

  5. Ben says:

    Tetrapod, are your neighbors far enough away that .22 rat shot would be an option? It’s made for exactly that situation.

  6. Joel says:

    Why don’t you acquire a cat, if mice are such a vexation?

    I gave up on cats more than ten years ago. Most of them can’t get it into their tiny brains that they are far from the top of the food chain until owl talons or coyote jaws make meals of them. The single exception was the smartest cat I ever met, knew how to keep on eye always on the zenith, and she had a pack of dogs as her personal bodyguard. Only one to die peacefully in her sleep.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The siren song of a human habitation. The mouse Garden of Eden. They’ll never stop coming unless something else smells better.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t the rats fall into the trap

  9. Anonymous says:

    To not make it to the other side. Deathophobia?

To the stake with the heretic!