Ekkkk! It’s a Mouse

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​“Being crushed by a book bag is quite the unexpected way to die. Luckily, I barely felt it. Once the 10-pound sack of books hit me, it was lights out. Nothing much happened after that. It was very dark for a couple of minutes, and then suddenly, I found my little self in so-called ‘eternal paradise.’ The truth is, I didn’t mean any harm, I was just hungry.”

​Yeah right. Along with his 200 brothers and sisters! And now there are mice in other places than the South Building cafeteria.

It all began about two months ago when a mouse was spotted scurrying out of the cafeteria radiator. Naturally, anyone who was around didn’t take its existence with much enthusiasm. At first there were screams, then scuffles and finally, a dead little creature. Let’s call him Crumbmaster. Well, Crumbmaster quickly met his eternal paradise, no janitorial help needed.

“Everyone and their mother went in and beat the stuffing out of it!” senior Brian Guevara said. ” It was hilarious.”

The South Cafeteria lunch crowd showed the rodent no mercy, crushing it with book bags and furniture.

“I saw it coming out of the radiator, heading for the vending machine,” explained Brian, who saw it then cut through some unsuspecting students and that’s when the war cry went up. “Once they saw it, all hell broke loose,” he said.

Not everyone was angered with the discovery of the rodent Crumbmaster. In fact, he acquired a fan in the final few moments of his life.

“I didn’t believe it was actually happening. When I saw it, I was somewhat startled, but upon further inspection, I realized it was very cute,” senior Ciara McNicholas said. “Most people get disgusted by these kind of things, but I saw it as an everyday thing. In the midst of the mayhem, a backpack flew over my head, barely missing me,” Ciara said, smiling.

The existence of mice in the school brings up a health concern. Just how sanitary is our school? Can we trust the administration to keep us safe and healthy? Mice harbor all kinds of diseases, like rabies, or a type of the flu, and diseases called Leptospirosis or Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LMC), according to the Center for Disease Control. These diseases are spread in two ways: through direct contact with the mouse or its urine and droppings, or through indirect contact such as breathing air laced with mice excrements or drinking water contaminated with them.

“I think mice in the school could pose a serious health problem,” freshman Theodore Kim said. “It says this school is incompetent, and it can’t keep this a sanitary place.”

Principal Peter Elbert has a little bit more faith than Theo, however.

“I think the incident really didn’t have anything to do with the competence of the school custodial team,” he said. “It isn’t a question of cleanliness, but a question of nature, “Mr. Elbert said. “Small rodents look for places to keep warm in the winter, and this school provided them one.”

Mr. Elbert has assured students that situations like these do not happen often. Nevertheless, he and his associates, along with an exterminator, are looking for possible points of entry of the mice. Unfortunately, they have not found them all yet.

Junior Elizabeth Spenst claimed that she saw a mouse in Mitchell Ravitz’s room not long after the Crumbmaster incident in the cafeteria.

And just last week many students in Judy Aronson’s classroom on the second floor of the South Building reported sightings of mice. To date, approximately five have been caught.

Instead of blaming the school for the mice in her room, however, Ms. Aronson was willing to take the blame for it.

“The first person I hold responsible for this is myself. My room can sometimes get messy, and a lot of kids seem to litter in there, “ Ms. Aronson said. “I completely forgot about a box of crackers that had been under my desk, probably since September.”

Indeed, students and teachers could also be the cause of this overabundance of mice, as Ms. Aronson made apparent.

Mice belong in nature, not schools, and hopefully students, teachers, administration and the custodial staff can help to keep them there, so that mice, like Crumbmaster, may die more natural deaths.

“Hey! It’s true. I didn’t deserve a backpack death. Heaven’s cool and all, but it’s so boring! I’d much rather be back at DMAE risking my life for food with occasional admiration from humans like Ciara.”