"If providence did beards devise,
To prove the wearers of them wise,
A fulsome goat would then, by nature,
Excel each other human creature." - Thomas D'Urfey

Monday, December 7, 2009

'Tis A Christmas Mystery

Morning dawned amidst the frost. And I do mean frost. Eighteen blessed degrees worth of frost. Oy. Anyway, What Ho!, Watson! A new mystery is afoot! It has been some time since we have had to put our caps of ratiocination to good use. (Some of us have never even put on our caps of ratiocination. Ever. I hesitate to mention any Nubian names...)

At any rate, it all began with the Have-A Heart live trap that the goatmother placed in the barn to catch the rat. You may remember that it is the one with the extra looooooong rope on it? The goatmother did, indeed, catch the rat, and replaced the trap just in case any long-lost relatives decided to come for a visit and, finding no one home, thought to move in. So the trap was replaced with one door down and one up and, per instructions, a piece of wood placed under one side of the toggle and the bait on the other. Lo and behold, the 'bait' (sad use for a Sacred Peanut if you ask me) was gone and the door was still up. Now how could this be? A mystery to be sure.

This happened a couple of times (the goatmother is a slow learner). Finally she decided that whomsoever was stealing the 'bait' was somehow bypassing the toggle and carrying out the Peanut. It was decided an animal cracker would provide a more formidable enticement while remaining somewhat bulkier to carry away. So said animal cracker was placed atop the toggle and both doors were left up. For sure the dastardly culprit would have to step on the toggle in order to get the cookie. But the next morning, the cookie was gone, both doors were down and locked, yet no one resided within. Now how could this be possible? Obviously it was the work of an extraordinarily gifted stealth burglar. You know the kind that dresses all in black and slides down a hi-tech rope afixed by tossing a grappling hook over the edge?

But then the unthinkable happened. The goatmother walked out into the barn to find two very small winter wrens bouncing about. They were literally everywhere. The floor. The hay. The rafters. The goatmother thought that since birds are such light-weights, perhaps it was they who were managing to get into the trap without setting it off. Personally, I like my theory better. I just don't think a dumb bird is fast enough to get out before those doors snap shut. However, not being inclined to listen to me, the goatmother simply dropped both doors deciding she did not want to catch two such nice birds. After all, apparently they were just hungry and it is Christmas time.

Now then, here is a picture of the Have-A-Heart trap. An Elmer's Glue stick has been placed next to it in order to give perspective. You can see there is a cookie on the toggle inside and both doors are down and locked. This is exactly the condition in which the goatmother left it. Yet the next morning, the cookie was gone.

I'm am uncertain as to whether we can reliably solve this mystery, my dear Watson. After all, there is a shocking lack of evidence. However, I find it prudent to inform you that, no, I simply can not, in all good conscience, support your theory that the perpetrator is Tiny Tim.


Barbee' said...

Awwww, cute story. Tis' a mystery for sure.

Danni said...

Such a pretty frost picture!

Our humane traps have only one entrance, but we've accidentally caught many a small bird, much to their (and my) horror. Fortunately, they were easy to release, but it sounds like birds up in WA may just be more clever than they are down here in OR and are able to resist being trapped! :-)