At 4am this morning I awoke with a new and unaccustomed sound. Was it the ice-maker dropping chunked ice, an intruder, or something else? As I went down the stairs into the kitchen where the sound was coming from it seemed to be a metallic sound originating from the tile floor. There had been a suggestion that an uninvited visitor had arrived the day before and I had set a mousetrap that night on the floor beside a baseboard with a bait of peanut butter. In the trap was a mouse and it was alive and struggling. The metallic sound came from the thrashing around of the trap on the tile. The mouse had ventured to far into the trap than usual to gnaw on the bait so his head was not crushed and he was trapped by the body.
I have always had a primal fear of vermin, a legacy from my mother and the Middle Ages. I could deal with, albeit difficult, a dead mouse, but a living, wiggling, squiggling, pelvis and tail waving mouse struggling in agony is a different matter. I went back to bed to await its death and silence. I couldn't sleep however, assailed by thoughts of the waning life force and with the reminder from the continuing sounds emanating from the kitchen floor. I took my courage and put the mouse and the trap off the kitchen door onto the deck.
Silence! This morning at 8 o'clock he was dead. He had struggled another 18 inches from the spot I had laid him. I'm sorry! I must kill. Rest in peace!