by Peter Duveen

PETER'S NEW YORK, January 26, 2008--My wife and I a couple of months ago noticed that some documents that we kept in our automobile had been tampered with. It was not human tampering, however. The evidence led us to suspect that a mouse was involved. The same type of teeth marks and scraps that signal this kind of activity were present at the crime scene. Otherwise, there was absolutely no other sign of the presence of a mouse. Even the possibility of a mouse entering the cabin of our automobile was a remarkable event. However, it was admitted that there was ample nourishment for such a creature to subsist and, in fact, thrive, as both of us often left enough food in the car after our trips--drinks, potato chips, candy bars, you name it--to allow any creature of the outdoors to have a "field day" indoors. This overabundance, it is believed, led, albeit accidentally, to our dear visitor's demise.

It was a chocolate drink purchased in one of the many convenience stores that can be found in and about the rural area of upstate New York that lured the poor creature to an unexpected death. The drink had been half consumed, and such as was left of it formed a pool at the bottom of a plastic container whose neck was somewhat constricted compared to the base. This delicious brew apparently tempted the unfortunate fellow to climb into the bottle in pursuit of his dream, but once in, he had an impossible task of getting himself out. The slippery sides of the plastic container, coupled with the unscalable angle of the walls that he was forced to contend with, all led to the mouse's permanent confinement.

After the car had lain unused for a few days, I visited the scene, and noticed--fortunately before I took a swig, because I am often guilty of drinking such beverages that have lain in the car for several days--that at the bottom of the vessel lay the unfortunate mouse, the top of his body protruding from the brew, the rest hidden from view. I then realized that a discovery of unusually important proportions had made itself known--how to catch mice without damaging their poor bodies in a terrible trap of conventional design.

Still not certain whether or not the mouse had actually succumbed from his ordeal with the chocolate milk, I dumped the contents out, and found that he exercised no vital signs. He was declared dead, and his body was properly disposed of.

(The above article refers to the mouse as "he," as it was a historical recreation, and not meant to be a fully scientific account of the incidents described. In actual fact, the mouse may have indeed been a female, in which case it would have been proper to refer to it as "she.")