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The following treats of VERMIN. Cut for the squickiness, and you know I don't squick easily....

We have mice out in the mostly-cleared minefield where I live. About five days ago, I discovered that one had been eating the blanket between my top blanket and my sheet. The next day the hole was bigger. After about the third day I bought a different blanket and trashed the old one. The mouse didn't seem to like the new blanket as much so I thought the problem was solved.

Yesterday afternoon as I was making my bed late, I lifted the top blanket and cringed because I saw what looked at first glance like a cat had thrown up hairballs. Then one of them moved and I realized they were newborn rats. I went nuts. Rats are my totem, and I started crying at the prospect of killing them. Some had fallen onto the floor when I disturbed the blanket, so I put them back, tucked them in, and went off to photograph Soviet ruins to calm down.

A pizza downtown later, I felt more grounded. I decided that if the rats stayed at the foot of the bed, they could stay. Yes, I know this is crazy.

When I got back, I told my tentmates, which elicited much shrieking. I lifted the blanket and the rats were gone. I started to lift the blanket higher and I found them under my pillow now.

That was it. I rolled up the middle blanket and was going to throw it away when the tent city NCOIC showed up, took the blanket, shook it out, and gave it back for me to wash.

Today I found the little corpses so I built a cairn over them. I feel horrible, but I don't know what else I could do.

In other horrors, there's this:


I have a holy card of the Virgin Mary wrapped in a flag. If you want one, message me your address. garpu, I've lost yours. vanirpriestess, I've already sent you one!

Six more days till leave.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2009 01:25 pm (UTC)
I totally relate to this and your thought processes through it, though not sure I would have come to the same conclusion.

I understand not wanting to kill them, especially if they're your totem (though I don't have any idea what framework you mean that in). But I think I would have tended to find or create for them a more appropriate home away from your bed. Because I mean, newborn rats turn into full-grown rats before you know it, and I don't think a whole family of rats would make good tent-mates, especially with multiple humans most of whose totem they are not. So telling your tent-mates they're there is crazy enough, but telling them you've decided they could stay?? OMG, what were you thinking? I mean, it doesn't seem crazy to me, though I'd very firmly try to talk you out of it, but I don't think most people would get it.
Dec. 30th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
No, I didn't tell the roommates the rats could stay. I'd decided they needed to be evicted. I just told them I had rats in my bed and that was enough.
Dec. 21st, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)
I think I"d be conflicted about the poor ratguys, too... :( Then again I really dig rats and would have an entire colony, if I could.
Dec. 21st, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
:( aw... I understand your distress.
Dec. 21st, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
I've dealt with field mice since we moved in here - these suckers aren't even afraid of the cats and I could tell you horror stories and a couple of Tom and Jerry like episodes. I have been known to ignore them if they are in the basement or the crawlspace, but once they set foot in the house proper, all bets are off.

I'm not sure how I feel about the flag pictures - kinda seems like if we want to claim God for America, why do we get distressed when other countries act less Godlike?
Dec. 21st, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
Well, the Blessed Mother is supposed to be our patron, but all the same it does seem weird to see Her draped in the flag.
Dec. 21st, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)

I could deal with the flag, but the fact that they tossed in the snake from "Don't Tread on Me" makes me wonder if she's supposed to be Our Lady of the Tea Party.

Dec. 22nd, 2009 12:53 am (UTC)
I missed that one. Well, it was one of the Revolutionaries' flags long before it acquired its current connotations, so I don't really have a problem with it.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 21st, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
Oh my, oh my, oh my! I hadn't noticed that those beams were shooting out of the holes in is hands. Words fail me.
Dec. 22nd, 2009 02:57 am (UTC)
Oh, man, as if the DM image could get any sillier. In all fairness, I like DM when it's rendered as a picture but not as a statue but that one just goes right over the top.
Dec. 21st, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Oooh no. The poor little baby rats :(

I wouldn't have wanted to kill them either.

When I lived in the log cabin in La Macaza we went away for a about a week one winter. When we came home, we found a weasel nest under Greywolf's pillow, but it had been deserted. Probably moved somewhere in the rafters/attic where lots of other critters lived in winter (including a great horned owl).

That flag stuff is just weird.
Dec. 21st, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
Here here, one man's vermin is another's totem! I know I hate it when I have to deal with yet another group of sillies squawking about how roaches are icky nasty ewww and all need to die!!! Especially when I try to tell them the facts (such as pests being less than 1% of all roaches, and that people were pretty chill with them until the industrial revolution and pest control became big $$$) and they refuse to take anything I say into consideration because oh no, their (socially indoctrinated)squick trumps everything, even the words of someone who actually knows WTF she's talking about.

But what do I know? I'm just the freak girl who dresses like a boy and likes cockroaches! 'Roaches are gross and need to die' is TOTALLY proven scientific fact and not at all an opinion bred into the masses by pop culture and product-selling corporations!

In case you can't tell, this situation enacts me to rage and snark like nobodies business >:[
Dec. 21st, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)
Also, on that link; WHAT THE EVER-LIVING BABY JESUS IS THAT!?!? Who I'm sure is crying painfully because of those... disturbances. Seriously, at least Soviet propaganda posters looked awesome and badass and not like something a psychotic Southern Baptist would produce in art therapy D:
Dec. 25th, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
A Southern Baptist would rather die a painful death than paint the Blessed Mother.
Dec. 21st, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
You had asked for toys before - do you still need them, and if you don't is there another soldier doing similar work who might? If not, I'll find someplace here who wants them.
Dec. 21st, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
I get up in arms when people decide that killing rats and mice are a good thing, too, because all they're looking for is a safe, warm place. It's not like they're out to eat your children, etc.

The pictures are disturbing; I can't put my finger on as to why but it's...wierd.

Also, did you get my email?

Dec. 21st, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
Rats are wonderful creatures - I used to have a pet rat and I loved her to pieces - so long as the wild ones keep their nests out of your home/tent. You don't go looking to sleep in their bed; they shouldn't get to sleep in yours. I totally understand the internal conflict over it, though.

This is a sign that you're still being protected in your times of greatest vulnerability.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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