Mice Ate My Handwoven Towels!

Mice ate my handwoven towels!  I had three towels left from my last batch.  The others had all been gifted to the wonderful rangers we work with here at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.  Ranger Layton, the Volunteer Coordinator, was the only one who hadn’t gotten a towel yet.  On the one day we worked together last week, I headed to my stack of towels to get one for him.

Only to find that a mouse (or mice) had been in the towels.  There were snags where they had gotten their mice teeth into them and several holes in the weaving.  All three of the my freshly woven towels were ruined.  Argh!

One of the mouse-eaten towels

I hate mice in buildings.  They are okay outside, which is where they should always stay.  The National Park Service has a no-kill policy and I have watched rangers go to extreme lengths to rescue critters and relocate them.

Intern Joanna recently caught a mouse in a cup and walked across a field and into the woods to give it a new home.  This was a couple of days after Intern Joanna picked up a newborn fawn that had been scared by a visitor and separated from its mother.  She was able to successfully carry it to the woods and reunite it with its distraught mother.  Ranger Miriam spent a while scooting a millipede out of the Visitors Center.  I would have stomped on it.

Some critters just don’t belong inside a building.  I am totally in favor of squashing their little bodies into oblivion.  Especially if they are nasty mice who have eaten holes in my handwoven towels.  I wanted some traps to set around my room upstairs with my living history stuff.  The rangers got a couple of no-kill traps and set them around the room.  I am thinking about supplementing them with some smash-their-little-bodies-and-break-their-necks traps, but I am willing to give it a few days to see what happens.

Having a textile room upstairs where I can leave out all my textile stuff has been a wonderful perk to working here.  I do living history three days a week and it is a pain to have to haul it all out and package it up at the end of every day.  After I discovered the mice, I started putting all the roving and loose fiber up on chairs.  I am also packing up my woven textiles at the end of each day.  Again, I’ll have to see how successful we are at catching the mice.

I like to give my handwoven towels as gifts.  I had plans for those towels the mice ruined.  Towels with mouse holes in them are no good to give away.  The ruined towels represent a significant investment of time and energy.  Those mice had better stay out of my way from here on out, if they want to keep their heads intact.