Of Mice, Men, and Manliness: A Camping Trip

Of Mice, Men, and Manliness

*This camping story contains the affiliate links for the things we used during the craziness that ensued.*

Nothing connects a family like a camping trip. As we pack our camper yet again to run far, far, away from Donald and Hillary robo-calls for another Worrell family adventure in a few days, I’m thinking of a past trip and this story I wrote some years back.

Manly men, camping, mouse poop, and a talkative preschooler makes for an interesting camping tale.All four of our kids have grown up camping. The older two made lots of campground buddies during our vacations. The younger two are all about meeting folks, as well. In fact, watching our youngest daughter make camping friends from such a tiny age has been interesting. We knew we were officially screwed when our four-year-old daughter hopped off the camp swings during one trip, marched right up in the middle of a bunch of kids of the male persuasion, put her hands on her hips, and said, “Hey, Boys!”

At the time, my husband, Mr. Jenn, began to moan. Our journey to screwed-dom accelerated as we watched our Lil’ K relate the latest Worrell Family Adventure right there on the camp playground.

“Boys, have I got a story for you!” she paused and eyed each of them to make sure they were paying proper attention. Said boys kept playing in the sand. One ate a handful and grinned at his brother with pebbles in his teeth. Undeterred, Lil’ K. continued her story.

“We-e-e-e-lll,” she said. “It all started when there was a mouse in our camper. We kept stepping on mouse poop, and it was everywhere.” She gestured around her head to make her point. “Ev. Er. Y. Where,” she added. In reality, there were only a few pellets under the table, but who am I to under-dramatize?

The boy with sand in his teeth perked up at the mention of poop. He faced her.

“Daddy set traps all over the pwace!” she said. “And then we heard a SNAP from under the couch! Daddy was so excited! He looked under the couch, but he didn’t catched the mouse!”

She lowered her voice and leaned in to the older boys whose heads were still buried in their sand creations. Pebble Teeth watched her with rapt attention.

“All the traps were empty. The mouses got away!” She jabbed her finger in the air. Mr. Jenn growled next to me. He hates to lose.

Lil’ K. continued, “And then, Daddy said lots of funny words. You know I can’t say them, but Hoooooo-wwwwwweeeeeeee, they were really funny.”

Mr. Jenn rolled his eyes. A few mice got in our camper while we stored it during the unusually balmy winter. We thought we had gotten all the rodents before we left, but we missed one.

Mr. Jenn looked at me. “Is she going to tell everything we do?” he asked.

I pointed discretely to the little boys who now gaped at Lil’ K. with raised eyebrows.

“She owns them,” I said.

“I must admit, her timing is impeccable,” nodded Mr. Jenn.

“Just what did he say?” one of the older boys asked.

“Oh, I can’t tell you,” Lil’ K. answered with folded arms, “but it was really hi-war-i-ous. It started with…”

“Okay, that’s enough,” I told her. “Time to move on.”

Disappointed, the boys all went back to their sand creations.

“You forgot to tell them that I did catch one mouse on the sticky stuff,” corrected Mr. Jenn.

“Yeah,” said Lil’ K. nodding vigorously, “and Daddy squished him in the sticky stuff.”

She paused and noted the fact that the boys were more interested in the sand they were beginning to throw.

She lowered her voice. “Yes, my daddy squished the mouse. He ex-PWO-ded.”

Again, all eyes turned to her.

“Were there guts?” the oldest inquired.

“Probably,” Lil’ K. answered. “Daddy folded him up and put him in the trash can. Daddy said, `I gotcha you Son–“

“Enough!” I interrupted. Mr. Jenn’s head descended into his hands.

“Time to go!” I said.

As I was collecting our things, I heard Lil’ K. say, “My daddy may not have catched a lot of mouses, but he sure is funny.”

“Well, that counts for something,” I nudged Mr. Jenn encouragingly.

Anyone could have predicted what happened next. That night, Mr. Jenn launched a mouse annihilation campaign. He even changed the kind of cheese he used because he thought that a heavier brand might insure proper trap deployment.

The next morning, we had the mouse in a sticky trap. We also had two in snap traps that he had placed underneath the camper in the event that a campground mouse may try to sneak in. Mr. Jenn danced around.

“Congratulations,” I said, patting him on the back. “I’m very happy for you.”

“We need to get right and go to the playground,” he said. “we need to find those boys…”

Speaking of Great Stories…

Check out these task cards in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store when you read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume with your students.

Use these task cards with Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to develop students' reading comprehension




I’m linking up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop and The Best of the Blogosphere Linky Party on http://debcb.com this week to share this camping memory. Nothing like kids to help you find middle ground in the sand, on the playground, or at the beach. Let’s connect! What’s your favorite camping memory? Let me know in the comments!


12 thoughts on “Of Mice, Men, and Manliness: A Camping Trip

    • April 25, 2017 at 1:45 am

      What little boy doesn’t like to talk about poop? HAHA! Thanks so much! Your comments are really encouraging!

    • April 25, 2017 at 1:46 am

      WOW! Thanks so much for that compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • April 24, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Love a good literary pun/reference 🙂 Great post title!

    • April 25, 2017 at 1:46 am

      Thanks so much! I appreciate the comment!

    • April 25, 2017 at 1:47 am

      Glad you liked it, and I thank you for visiting!

  • April 24, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    What a story and I do love your sense of humour!

    Gosh, mice! I have a couple of stories to tell with mice, I swear they just get smarter, haha!


    • April 25, 2017 at 1:40 am

      Our mice are amazingly brilliant. Thanks so much, and I appreciate your comment!

  • April 25, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Wonderful reading! You had a great time! I am not so into camping adventures, but i enjoyed your post. Well done!

    • April 25, 2017 at 11:14 am

      HA! Camping is definitely not for everyone. Glad you stopped by!


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