It Was Deja Vu All Over Again

by Curt Kovener Curt line

Regular readers of this column may remember that back in the spring when I started up the big mower to mower the wilderness vast lawn for the first time, how the gasoline powered mower became a twin cylinder popcorn popper.
Over the winter a mouse thought that the muffler of the mower with its mouse-size opening was ideal for storing food, which was predominately popcorn.
While some of the kernels were forced out with the exhaust, as the temperatures heated up the mower became a hot air corn popper with popped corn being ejected from the muffler.
This past weekend, I fired up the same mower but this time to blow leaves off the lane to improve driveability and drainability.
It was quickly obvious that a mouse had been busy again but this time with black soybeans. As soon as I fire up the engine the beans started machine gunning against the metal siding of the barn. I immediately know what had happened and quickly drove outside to minimize the interior clean up.
I revved up the engine to try to blow out as many beans as I could. But before long the whole area looked like a smoky oil burning fogger.
Beans, it seems, do not pop. They just burn. If you have ever allowed a pot of bean soup on the stove to cook dry and scorch, you have an inkling of the smell just outside the wilderness barn.
Eventually the beans burned up and blew out leaving no smoke nor burned aroma.
As best as I can determine the popcorn and soybeans were all part of a wildlife habitat seed plot that I misplaced. While I couldn’t find it, some fat little mice did and thought they had their winter larder full.
And there is other evidence of rodent winter preparations as chewed up paper towels are found tucked away in tool box drawers and cabinets as the mice try to snuggle in for the winter ahead.