Saturday, December 23, 2006

Was There An Inspiration For The Christmas Mouse?

By The Christmas Mouse, I am referring to the poem I wrote, it is a few posts, or so, down from this one. Sure there was an inspiration, real live ones at that. Yes, more than one, since I now have about 50 mice in my mouse breeding colonies. I also have a cat and 3 dogs, just like in the poem. In fact I was enjoying my second glass of red wine, when the thought hit me to pen a comical poem; but no - none of the mice got loose, and then got chased by my cat and dogs, and I really have never seen a mouse dressed in a Santa suit, I swear I have not!

I have seen some pretty neat looking mice though not in Santa suits, but rather in lots of color variations, and with variations of certain other characteristics such as short hair, long hair, curly hair, and nude (hairless). I've seen all of these because I have been breeding mice, on and off, for abut 20 years now. You already know that I keep snakes and other reptiles, as well as some amphibians too. Well, most of the snakes I have kept are rodent eaters, and one of the most convenient rodents to feed snakes is Mus musculus, the good old common House Mouse. While I breed some of them for food items for my snakes, I learned long ago that breeding and keeping mice is an interesting pursuit all its own. I now have quite a few that are never meant to wind up as snake food, but instead will lead good and long mouse lives, as far as mouse lives can be called long.

A few of the color varieties I currently have are pictured here. The top one above is an Agouti (at least I think it is). The next one down is a Dove (pink eyed, light dove gray color). The next one is a Fawn, with pink eyes (they can also have black eyes). Finally the last one shown, is a fawn with black eyes.


These guys make great and interesting pets for folks with limited space, who do not have the time to give to a pet like a dog. They are also good pets for children, from about age 8 on up, with adult supervision at least until the child is in the mid teens and well familiar with caring for them. They rarely bite, but of course they can bite. They can be a bit smelly, usually if you have a male in a group or even alone. Males have smelly urine, while females urine has little noticeable odor. If you want to keep a pet mouse, or pet mice, and don't want that male urine smell, then just keep females. They get along fine with one another. Domestic house mice are easy to care for. Keep em clean by cleaning their enclosure at least once per week (twice at most), feed em once daily, supply fresh drinking water in a gravity bottle, keep them in a secure cage or tank, and they make great inexpensive pets that will live about 1 to 1 1/2 years. Keep a male and female together, and you can develop your own seemingly endless supply of pet mice. Give em an exercise wheel and watch em go, go, go... Let em escape (accidentaly of course, never on purpose) and really watch em go - forever gone - especially if you also have a cat and three dogs. Yes, some of mine have escaped before, so I know!

All the best,
Glenn B

The Transformation of Glenn

Yes it is still me as can be evidenced by the same fat neck and crow's feet around the corners of my eyes. Still though, I have to admit that the barber did a pretty good job handling his shears, and chopping away at my mane - so husbands beware - your turn may be next if your wives see these photos. My wife was pretty happy with the results. Now if only I would lose a few pounds, like 40 or so, she would be a lot happier, and so would I.

Oh well, all things in moderation, so a little improvement at a time, I guess. This particular improvement will make for all that better Christmas get togethers with our families because Linda will be happy that I shaped up a bit.

Besides going to the barber shop today, I got virtually all of my shopping finished. Of course, for me it isn't Christmas unless I shop on Christmas Eve, so I will be out again tomorrow getting some little odds and ends, for extra special (but not necessarily extra expensive) presents, that happen to catch my eye. You know, maybe a nice piece of lingerie for my wife, a good book for my daughter Celina, and a gadget of some sort (like the hunting or shooting sort) for my son Brendan.

Speaking of Brendan, since I was out so long shopping, he decided to fire up the barbecue, and he cooked the bear meat I had in the fridge. It was ever so delicious - both the marinated piece and the plain piece he saved for me. A great meal to which to come home, I assure you; MMMMM - mmmm GOOOOOOOOOD!

If I am up to it tonight, I just may bake an apple strudel. If not that ambitious after all other have hit the hay in our house, I may make an apple pie and a loaf of bread for tomorrow's breakfast. Got to stay in that holiday spirit and get something like that done. Hopefully my lack of a good night's sleep last night will not have me crashing before I bake at least one delectable.

All the best,
Glenn B

The Wife Told Me To Get A Haircut

Yes that is me, a photo I just took a few minutes ago. Scary isn't it; or would repulsive be a better word?

So my wife told me I need to get a haircut and clean myself up for Christmas Eve and Christmas. I can't imagine why she would think so, I think I look just - well how should I say it - I look just like me. It may not be the best I have looked in a while, but then again I guess 4 1/2 hours of sleep last night can help do that to a person.

Oh well, Linda does not want to hear about me missing sleep, or any other excuses from me, she wants me to get myself a haircut, and probably expects me to trim my mustache, and shave the rest of my mug.


I guess, that in the Christmas spirit, I should do just that. So I am about to be off to the barber for a trim. Hopefully he will not be the Sweeney Todd type! I'll post an after picture later on today, once I have had my 'makeover' to please my wife. I tell ya, the things a husband will do for she who must be obeyed. Oh well, off to the barber for me, later for you.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays,
Glenn B

Not A Whole Lot of Blogging Today...

...as I have to get my Christmas shopping done today and tomorrow. I just have to shop right up through Christmas Eve or it isn't Christmas for me. I also have to barbecue some Black Bear back-straps for my son and me. The wife and daughter don't want to eat any more of it, something about Smoky The Bear, or maybe Yogi and Boo-Boo; and that is fine by Brendan and me - more for us. Half of them are marinating in the fridge right now, the other half will be barbecued plain. Mmmm, goooooooooooooood!

If I get the chance though, I'll blog some tonight, but I maybe busy baking an apple strudel, so who can tell. For now just enjoy that silly poem I just wrote, and maybe some of my older stuff (yeah I know its not all that old, only been at it since August).

All the best,
Glenn B

The Christams Eve Mouse

THE CHRISTMAS EVE MOUSE
by Glenn Bartley, 12/23/2006
The Christmas Eve mouse, crept through my house, searching for a treat,
The family cat, slept soundly on its mat, dreaming of a mouse to eat.
The three family dogs, all slept like logs, in bed with mama.
I still awake, some wine did take, and sat alone in my pajama.

Was that a squeak, or just a leak, of steam that started all?
It mattered not, no matter what, it had commenced the brawl.
The cat awoke, as if at the last stroke, of the midnight knell.
It clamored straight, with bounds great, hoping a mouse to fell.

This of course, created a great source, of clamor and of clatter.
No command spoke, but the dogs awoke, to see what was the matter.
Down the stairs, as if chasing hares, they ran away at full speed.
Along the hall, as if heeding a call, to answer a primal need.

Startling the cat, who had been nosing a hat, that had fallen from hook on door.
Who sought the source, the mouse of course, who scurried under hat on floor.
Then the cat loudly meowed, and the mouse was wowed, and it ran fast away.
The dogs gave chase, toppling a vase, bought as a present for Christmas day.

Then the cat it sprang, as if with a bang, and pounced underneath the tree.
The mouse was there, the cat missed by a hair, and the mouse ran up to me.
On my face was a frown, but soon a smile as I looked down, and I saw so cute,
The beast was all dressed, as by now you may have guessed, in a Santa suit.

For a measly crumb, the beggar had come, with an empty bag o’er his back.
I scooped him up, and gave him to a crumb to sup’, and another for his sack.
Back on the floor, he stayed a moment more, then made some sort of sign.
Then on that strange night, I saw such a sight, a sight so very fine.

A family of mice, all looking so nice, all adorned in Christmas clothes,
Came out into the light, it was a wonderful sight, I saw before my nose.
Each wriggled its tail, and without fail, each bade me a Christmas Merry.
I felt fine, as I drank more wine, wondering if was made of a magic berry.

Then away they crept, and soon I slept, the rest of the eve through.
Was I dreaming a dream, that to me did seem, just too much of a real lu-lu.
Well when I awoke, not a word dare I spoke, about what me had befallen
If my wife dear, heard this as I have told here, the nut house she’d be callin.