Featured Story – Of Mice and Mowers

by Evelyn Rogers

About five years ago I was hiking with Barb Kaiser and Daisy McCallum and they kept talking about needing to find someone who would cut the grass out at Cedarcroft. Little did they know that they were talking to a person who likes to cut grass! So, we met at Cedarcroft to check out this old, and I mean old, lawnmower. They did not know the last time it was used and whether it would work. This mower used a gas and oil mix. That is one hint as to its age. It had no safety features, like a release bar to automatically shut the mower down if you let go of the handle, or a rubber safeguard to stop the twigs from being thrown out the back of the mower. I bought soccer shin guards to protect my legs, safety glasses and ear protection.

Mouse with tail by Rose Chambers

With fingers crossed and a little prayer I tried to start it with Barb, Daisy and Wayne all cheering me on. After about the 10th pull you could hear it trying to start. Just one more pull, I thought. Out jumped a mouse from somewhere in the machine. I jumped at least a foot in the air and squealed like a frightened child. The poor little mouse ran away terrified! When I finally landed, I looked up and there were Barb, Daisy and Wayne doubled over in laughter. After my heart started beating again, I couldn’t believe I squealed like that over a little mouse and I couldn’t stop laughing. After one more pull the mower started.

The mower did a great job cutting the grass. I knew I had to pull the cord 10 times. Also, if it stopped for any reason, I had to wait an hour before it would start again. I had lots of fun with that mower. I did my last cut with it in the fall of 2019. I went back to clean it up for the winter and what little gas was left in it was on the floor. I don’t know whether a hose gave out or if it was my little mouse back in there chewing on something, but I decided it was time to get another mower.

Here is a picture of my new mower, with all the safety features and it starts on one pull.

Evelyn & Wayne with the new lawn mower.
Photo by Dave Daugharty.

If you are thinking about visiting our little piece of paradise this summer, please follow the available public health advice, including physical distancing by keeping at least two metres from others, wearing a face covering when physical distancing is not possible, and washing or sanitizing hands regularly. We want everyone to stay safe and healthy.

White-footed mouse by Gerry Norris

For past stories, see the Featured Story Archive.