Building a Better Mousetrap
Some days have unexpected themes. My daughter received the game, “Mouse Trap” for her birthday this year. Remembering the sheer volume of pieces from playing this game as a kid, I’d been a little hesitant to get it open. Finally today, we had some quiet time together, and we decided to give it a whirl. I’ll admit, it’s not my favorite game. Both my husband and I had fun building the trap as the game went on, but my daughter was more interested in collecting the pieces of cheese. The building plans stymied her, and the end of the game was anticlimactic. The mice run around in circles until one ends up on the Cheese and one ends up on the “Turn Crank” space. At that point, the player on “Turn Crank” turns the crank, sets off the trap, captures the mouse sitting on the cheese, and wins. It seemed very arbitrary, and neither of my kids could believe that we’d just built this elaborate structure to trap one mouse, one time. They insisted on doing a number of other tests before cleaning up.
The game is recommended for ages 6 and up, but I would not leave two six-year-olds to play this together. The building plan is complicated, and if even one small piece goes missing, the whole game is basically useless.
So that was the first mouse trap. Remember I said something about a theme? Turns out the game was good practice, because tonight, while settling into bed, I thought I saw a shadow run past the corner of my eye. I chalked it up to my imagination until the furry friend came out the other side of my dresser, looked right at me and dove back under cover. I’m not generally afraid of mice, but having one in my bedroom while I’m pregnant just didn’t sit well with me. After some fruitless attempts to chase it around and trap it in a trash bin, we looked on the internet for tips on building a homemade mouse trap. We found good instructions on eHow.com. We opted for the humane version, quickly put the trap together and started getting ready for bed. It wasn’t even out for 15 minutes, and THUMP! The mouse was caught! High-fiving in a mix of glee and disbelief, we released it into the park across the street.
Given that we were still grinning about it more than an hour later, I’d say the real-life version wins the prize for entertainment, and the ending was anything but anticlimactic. Now we just have to hope to use our trap for one mouse, one time. That would be enough for us.