Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Maybe Walmart needs a cat March 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 10:39 AM

DURING MY LIFE-TIME, mice often have terrorized me.

Dead or alive, they seem intent on imprinting frightening moments upon my psyche.

I suppose if you are not afraid of rodents, then you would not remember the dead mouse floating in a crockpot, the mouse running in circles around your feet in a locked bathroom, a mouse rummaging in a silverware drawer and other such encounters.

But I have experienced all of the above mouse moments, and more.

Therefore, you can understand why I react rather negatively to anything rodent-related.

My most recent mouse story comes from Walmart in Faribault, where my husband went to the garden section for a bag of charcoal while I shopped elsewhere in this sprawling store.

Later we meet and I note that he has selected a rather small (7.2 pound) bag of charcoal.

Well, he tells me, the two larger bags in the remaining inventory had been chewed on by mice.

I don’t understand. As far as I know, mice don’t eat charcoal, preferring instead watered-down chicken broth in a crockpot or peanut butter on a trap.

Uncertain whether to believe Randy, I think that perhaps the errant prongs of a forklift pierced the charcoal bags.

Nope, he saw the tell-tale mouse droppings and urine on the paper-lined pallet. Mice, he says, will chew on a bag to gather paper for a nest. Oh, great, more mice.

This all leads me to wonder how warehouses, trucks that transport goods or businesses keep rodents away. It’s a question I’ve pondered previously, but which now weighs heavy on my mind.

After all, if I’m going to “save money” and “live better,” I can’t accomplish that by shopping at a store that possibly harbors mice or, at the least, their droppings.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling