Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet" and "Endangered Edens."

What if God is a rodent?

We humans arrogantly assume that if there is a god, we must be made in his image. While I’m skeptical of all religions, I do hope that if there is a god, she isn’t a rodent. If she is, I’m totally screwed. Even though I have spent most of my life as an environmental and wildlife advocate, rodents—mice and rats in particular—have gnawed a hole in my resume.

First of all, I have pet snakes, which can only survive by eating mice or rats. Sorry, there is no vegan alternative for boas.

Second, I have had an ongoing battle with mice in my garage. At first I didn’t mind having them around. After all, I live in the country, and the mice were just looking for shelter. Then a family of mice decided to build a nest deep inside the engine of my truck. And since I don’t drive my truck often, they actually took it upon themselves to build a multi-residence condo. Rumor has it that Donald Trump had even secured naming rights to it.

Even that would have been okay, if the mice had removed their dead. Unfortunately, the end result was that I couldn’t turn on the heat or the air conditioning without gagging from the smell. I had to take the truck to a mechanic, who charged me a small fortune to take the engine apart and remove the little Trumpy mice condos.

After forking out the money to remove the mice from my truck, I had no choice but to remove the mice from my garage. First I tried a live trap, but the mice got very good at sneaking in, stealing the peanut butter, and escaping. Essentially the live trap was just an elaborate mouse feeder. d-CON or other poisons were out of the question, as we have owls, foxes, coyotes, and wolves around, and I couldn’t risk hurting them with a contaminated mouse. So that left me with traditional spring traps.

Over the past year or so, I have killed hundreds of mice in my garage with the traps—feeling terrible every time I did it. I also worried about catching hantavirus from handling all the dead mice, even though I washed my hands afterwards.

Finally, in desperation, I bought an ultrasonic pest repeller. You just plug it into the wall, and supposedly it makes a sound only rodents can hear—and it chases them a way. I figured I was just throwing thirty dollars down the toilet. And to think I had just gotten over the trauma of spending my allowance, as a kid, to buy sea monkeys from the Johnson Smith Company. I braced myself for disappointment. Gimmicks, like ultrasonic pest repellers and sea monkeys never live up to their promise. Do they?

Well, guess what? The ultrasonic pest repeller actually works! I used to catch two to four mice each night. Now, the traps have been untouched for two weeks. Soon, I will remove them altogether. Then I will get down on my knees and beg for forgiveness from the great rodent god in the sky. She has to forgive me. Doesn’t she? Oh, wait, now all those poor mice will have to spend their winters in the woods, outside of my garage.

I’m totally screwed.

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