Saturday, July 24, 2010

The 98th Bomb Group's Mouse Trap...Lecce, Italy

(Continuation of Captain Charles Estes's War Memoirs)

"There were some several funny things that happened about
the tent. We went to a place where they had some soft
rock and the Italians had sawed these rocks into blocks,
and so for a couple of cartons of cigarettes we got enough
blocks to put around the edge of our tent and enclosed us.

It then being out in a middle of a field, we had a lot of
mice running around. And someone showed us, the
Italian -- or the 98th Bomb Group Mouse Trap, which
consisted of a pail with water in it and a knife from
the mess hall.

Now the way the trap works is you put the handle on
a table towards the inside of the table, and the blade
out over the pail of water, and then on the tip of the
blade you put a piece of cheese. Well, the little mouse
could smell or see the cheese and he would start out
on the knife blade and would finally throw the blade
out of balance, and the blade and the mouse would
fall into the water.

Well, of course, the only trouble with the trap was
that now you had a squeaking mouse on your hands
in the middle of the night, and he'd wake you up
and you start feeling sorry for him, but you knew
if you were going to let the trap do its job you just
have to let 'em go on and drown himself, and so
you did and soon he stopped squeaking and you
knew everything was all right. But that was
something that we never found out who thought
up the trap, but we know that it was something
that was handed down from one crew to another;
and I imagine that the mess hall didn't have any
knives or they had to order a new supply because
all of the crews in every tent had one of these
little traps in it I'm sure.

Well, that was a lot of fun and it was unusual.
You don't hear of things like that. It would work
in this country if you had enough mice; we just
don't have enough mice to go the trouble of fixing
it up like that."

(To be Continued.)

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