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Killed a mouse by accident

Hello everyone.

I know this probably seems silly, but I've accidentally killed a little mouse and I feel quite upset and sad about it. A mouse kept coming into our home and eating our fresh food, so I set out a humane mouse trap for him. The trap went off a woke me up in the middle of the night, I took the trap out into the garden, and left the mouse in there because it was the middle of the night and i don't have a car and I don't feel safe walking alone. Apparently you have to let them out far away from where you live, so they don't come back. The next day I remembered he was there, but thought I'd take him out later, as I was working, and then I forgot to let him out, the day afterwards I came back and he had died, there were air holes in the box. I'm really upset that I killed him, I've never killed an animal before. I feel bad and stupid that I didn't take him out sooner. :(

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I did that once too. Felt awful. Gave the wee thing a decent burial, and wished it well on its way....
    It got caught in a humane trap, but I had checked and checked the damned thing day in and day out, and nothing showed up.... blow me if the one day I didn't check it, a mouse got caught in it.
    Sadly, it was summer, and in the greenhouse.

    I'm mortified to consider what an end the poor little thing had.

    I feel for you.

    his too shall pass, but it is sad when it happens.
    Don't beat yourself too heavily round the head for it.

    Kaydeekayperson
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Kaydeekay

    When one walks, drives, rides a bike, more than likely one is killing tiny creatures that cross ones path....

    It was not your intention to kill the mouse, it was accidental...What's done is done...However......

    You can always say a mantra "Om Mani Padme Hung" a few times.... "The Jewel is in the Lotus -What we seek, we are (already)"

    KaydeekaypersonTigger
  • KaydeekayKaydeekay UK Explorer

    Thanks a lot @federica and @Shoshin :)

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Ah. I am sorry Kaydeekay. It is a horrible feeling.
    I recall emptying my kids toddlers pool a few years ago and finding a little skink that drowned in the bricks beside the pool. I felt awful!
    I guess it goes to show that all of us have done something similar in our time.
    Not sure about your stance on rebirth but I try to say a little prayer that our paths will cross in the future and I will help them next time around. Gives me a little comfort.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    You can do something simple like save the lives of earthworms after it rains to sort of even things out if it helps.

  • KaydeekayKaydeekay UK Explorer

    Thank you everyone :), you have helped me to feel much better :).

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    Since we are on the topic, let me throw this question out there because I really don't know what I would do.

    Would you kill a roach?

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    Would you kill a cockroach? I have not had to but I don't know If I would let one go if I did find one...ugh, I'm getting the heebie jeebies just thinking abou tthem

  • KaydeekayKaydeekay UK Explorer

    Yeah, they are kind of gross (not offence little roaches ;)). I'd probably try and scoop it up and put it outside. But if I see a creepy bug inside, I just tend to leave them....but I'm in the UK, so maybe they are bigger and more common in Canada :) :P.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    A Buddhist monastery had to kill an entire infestation, so yes, I would. And flies. And mosquitoes.

    One or two may not be so bad - but have you seen how fast these things reproduce? And in what numbers?
    The monks referred to them, initially as 'our little brothers'.

    All too soon, left to their own devices, they became a real danger, health hazard and serious liability to the secure and continued existence of the Monastery.

    What do cockroaches, flies and mosquitoes have in common? They carry filth, disease and are harmful to human habitation.

    They don't mean to be, they just are.
    But it's a danger to people and the environment to leave them.
    Something has to give, and sadly the advantages of getting rid of them far outweigh any advantages of keeping them.

    So it's bye-bye and thank you for coming but - you have to be 'going'.

    TiggercarolannKaydeekaylobster
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Sorry for your sad experience :( We had a similar thing happen. We always get mice and voles in the fall when the weather turns colder, and we set multiple live traps. We release them in the same area far from home. We forgot our daily round of checking our traps, and one very small guy had died :( it's an awful feeling. But you did the best you could, and your intention was not to hurt him. It will help you remember next time.

    @Tigger I try to catch and release anything and everything I can. We don't have roaches here, thank goodness, but when we were in FL, we had them in our hotels all the time (even on high floors!). So I did catch and release them. Spiders, bugs, whatever I can. But I am not against killing things like mosquitoes, ticks, or houseflies if they cannot be released or if they are a potential risk to someone else. Ticks here spread a lot of really awful diseases, so we do kill them. Biting flies I take issue with, because they bite so hard that it's just still an auto response to me to slap them when they bite. We have a kids "bug vacuum" that makes it easy to catch little spiders and flies and other things and release them outside. The kids quite enjoy helping with it.

    TiggerKaydeekay
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited January 24

    I had to destroy a wasp colony yesterday (Yellow Jackets)... The wasps had imprisoned the house owners, they feared for their safety...When I went to take a look, the worker wasps flight path went across the house owners pathway leading to and from the house ie, their only exit and entry point...The nest was quite large, it's possible it was an overwintering one, which means it has more than one fertile queen actively producing eggs and thousand up on thousands of worker wasps in all stages of life cycle...

    When I have to deal with a wasp nest, I weigh up the odds,
    Does the nest location put the people who live on the property at risk ?
    Do small children play in the area ?
    Are any family members of friends who visit, allergic to wasp stings ?
    The list goes on....

    But most importantly I have no anger towards the wasps nor do I 'hate' them, I just do what I feel is the least harm under the circumstances...

    Plus, if I don't treat the nest for them, ( me having more understanding towards the situation and the impact this karmic action can have) if after the house owner/tenant has contacted me, I refrain from carrying out this act, then because of my experience ie, my background in pestology and my understanding of the Dharma, I would be deliberately opening the door for another possibly unknowing person to accumulate unwholesome karma....

    Well this is how I tend to flow....whether I'm right or wrong in this approach is....relative...

    BTW I've just this minute got back from treating another one, this time the wasps were entering the bedroom through a hole they had made in the ceiling....The room was full of angry wasps....

    Also every time I see a nest I'm in awe of its intricate beauty and design...The amount of work the worker wasps put in to building and maintaining such a work of art...

    Vastmindlobster
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    Well that's a good thing because I think I would kill one if I saw one. I never had to yet because I don't have any but I have seen them in places I worked at back in the day when I was a cook. Hopefully I wont see anymore but good to know I can kill them. I don't even want to scoop them up because they're fast little buggers.

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    I had to destroy a wasp colony yesterday (Yellow Jackets)... The wasps had imprisoned the house owners, they feared for their safety...When I went to take a look, the worker wasps flight path went across the house owners pathway leading to and from the house ie, their only exit and entry point...The nest was quite large, it's possible it was an overwintering one, which means it has more than one fertile queen actively producing eggs and thousand up on thousands of worker wasps in all stages of life cycle...

    I'm terrified of bees and wasps so I couldn't kill one if I tried. I don't think there is a precept against running away from them as fast as you can...lol

    dhammachick
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I agree, @Shoshin . The least harm possible for the situation, which might vary any time it presents. We also had to deal with a blackjacket nest that was just off our deck in the yard. We didn't even see it until several kids playing in our yard with our son were chased and stung multiple times. There is a daycare very nearby, and we just couldn't risk so many kids getting hurt (or worse, if any of them have allergies).

    For honey bees, (just as an FYI in case people aren't aware) you can often call bee keepers in your area and they will help to move swarms. We had some swarm up on a neighbors house 2 years ago, and the bee keeper came and got them all safely (and released them).

    Tigger
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I used to keep bees. Had some wonderful honey... I can't count the number of times neighbours and nearby residents would knock on my door, and angrily inform me my bees had swarmed and were now nesting in their tree/shrub/porch/garage/garden shed. I would protest that they were mistaken, my bees most certainly had NOT swarmed, whereupon they would challenge me to "Come on then, come and see for yourself!"

    So I would gather all my equipment - suit, head-net, smoker, box... and head off with them to their home - only for me to take one look at said 'swarm' and inform them,

    "They're wasps. Not my problem."
    "How do you know they're wasps?!" they would ask, indignantly.
    "Because I keep bees, and they're not bees. They're wasps. Ring the Council. Bye!"

    And off I would go, again, and leave them to their wasps....

  • eggsavioreggsavior Dagobah Veteran

    @Shoshin that's very interesting. Ever since I was a kid wasps have nested in my bedroom window at my mom's house. The nests are always less than the size of a golf ball and there are only a few wasps. They leave in the winter. I never wanted to destroy their home and appreciated seeing them go about their lives. I don't open my windows and they are far away from any doors on the second floor. Is it OK to leave them alone or should I take the nest down if they come back again?

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited January 24

    @eggsavior said:
    @Shoshin that's very interesting. Ever since I was a kid wasps have nested in my bedroom window at my mom's house. The nests are always less than the size of a golf ball and there are only a few wasps. They leave in the winter. I never wanted to destroy their home and appreciated seeing them go about their lives. I don't open my windows and they are far away from any doors on the second floor. Is it OK to leave them alone or should I take the nest down if they come back again?

    @eggsavior, by your description, it sounds like you have polistine wasps (paper wasps species), their nest won't grow any bigger, a well established polistine wasp nest can have up to a couple of hundred wasps at the most...

    They will normally build their nest in an area close to a food source, but as you say they do tend to die off over winter, especially the cold winters that many parts of the US have...

    If they are not causing any harm,if you or family members or friends who visit are not allergic to their stings, I'd just leave them...I'm under the impression most of the social wasps found in the US are indigenous species, meant to be there in the ecosystem...

    Here in NZ we have to be more careful/selective when deciding on how to deal with these wasp species, as all the species of social wasps (wasps that form colonies - I think that we have four established species to date ) have been accidentally introduced and have no natural predators or parasites to keep them in check, and they tend to wipe other indigenous insects (using them as a food source and or destroying their habitat) ...

    Plus our temperate climate open up the opportunity for some introduced species of social wasp ( Vespula germanica-German wasps) to overwinter ie, the nest doesn't die out over the winter months, the population shrinks, ( in just one season, an established nest can contain up to 10 thousand wasps at different stages of life cycle) and on sunny warm winter days we can still see active worker wasps busying themselves foraging and come spring time there are numerous fertile queens all ready to go forth and multiply, some will stay where they are and continue to grow the colony's population, these nests are gigantic....

    I often tell people to leave the paper wasps nests that they find close to their vege garden, ( providing they don't have to walk/work close to it), the wasps feed on the caterpillars and other bugs that eat the vegetables, however if there are butterflies such has the Monarch breeding in the garden, the wasps will also eat the Monarch caterpillars -they don't discriminate :) ....

  • I killed a tiny kitten years ago!

    I was driving on a cold rainy day when I heard mewling sounds. Got caught in a traffic jam when some driver pointed to the road. I saw 2 small kittens behind and beside my car. They had fallen off from the engine compartment. Gave them to a passerby as I was on the way to work. The 3rd kitten was still in the engine bay hiding beyond reach.

    They were apparently put into the engine bay by their mother to keep them warm overnight unbeknown to me.

    I decided to take the cat with the kitten to a car workshop to remove it as soon as possible before it got burned to death but unfortunately the traffic wasn't cooperating. I could hear it howling every time I stepped on the gas.

    By the time I got to the workshop, the howling stopped! When the mechanic managed to remove the undercarriage, the limp body of the kitten rolled off.

    I silently wished that it will have a good "rebirth" and went on my way to the office. Apologized to first person that I met for being late.

    She was a frail old lady in her 80s who was quite pleasant, who came with her daughter. The strange thing was what she said to me. She asked if I kept cats in the office as she saw a cat in the waiting room and her daughter thought that the old lady was just imagining things.

    Of course there were no cats there. A year later, the daughter informed me that her mother had passed on. One strange experience.

    Do I feel guilty? No - that's the best I can do under the circumstances.

    lobstereggsaviorShoshinperson
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 25

    Terrible story, thanks for sharing @pegembara <3

    Some of those here have been active soldiers. The important thing is genuine remorse. What practical non hypocritical form might remorse take?
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/buddhist-ceremonial-release-captive-birds-may-harm-wildlife/

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I have always said, have I not, that "No Good Deed goes Unpunished"... That whatever we do to cultivate Good kamma, with every intention of Kindness and Metta, something tips the other way?

    pegembaraTiggerKaydeekay
  • ^^. Perhaps so.

    Perhaps you could join the eco-sangha and save the flying mouse? Ganesha the well known dharma protector rides a flying mouse [allegedly] ...
    https://oneearthsangha.org/about/

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Tigger said:
    Would you kill a roach?

    No, it would make a nice pet. Ronald the roach. :p

    Tigger
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    Ronald the roach. :p

    Ronald the roach....that's fricken halarious!

    Thanks for my Thursday morning laugh.

  • RavenSpiralRavenSpiral Scotland New

    I avoid killing anything when I can. I will only kill something if it is a threat to me. Last winter I had a few rats in my loft. The smell was awful, pellets were turning up everywhere etc. I had to contact a pest control firm to remove them as they were a health hazard to me and my dog (not to mention a potential fire hazard if they had chewed through electrical wiring) but, boy, I felt awful about being responsible for their deaths.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Tigger said:
    Would you kill a roach?

    No, it would make a nice pet. Ronald the roach. :p

    16 reasons why giant madagascar hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa) make good pets

    =)

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    I can't even stand regular roaches @seeker242 ....don't even get me started on giant hissing and flying raoches (yes folks...some fly...yuk!)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I'm keen on owning a tortoise; insects (spiders, cockroaches, crickets, stick insects....) just don't 'do' it for me, personally....

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited January 27

    A tortoise sounds good. Very meditative, very zen. Although I'd be a little worried about providing a good environment, do they need a pool and a place to quietly munch on lettuce? Do they poop in litter boxes?

    Tigger
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Kerome said:
    A tortoise sounds good. Very meditative, very zen. Although I'd be a little worried about providing a good environment, do they need a pool and a place to quietly munch on lettuce?

    You're thinking of turtles maybe....? It very much depends on the breed of tortoise you have. As a rule, they don't 'need' water, as such, but they have to have a bath now and then. They drink when they have a bath, and they often get into their drinking dishes.

    Giving them lettuce is not a good idea, if it's exclusive. They need a very varied diet and actually, too much lettuce is a definite no-no...

    Do they poop in litter boxes?

    They poop where and when they want, frankly....! :D

    Kerome
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    I love turtles and tortoise, they're adorbs. My partner is from the Caribbean (Dominica) and he used to have wild tortoises come to his home for food...so cute. Animals are a gift to humans.

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Some folk use the term "animal companion" as oppose to "owing a pet" ...Animal companion does have a better ring to it....

    I love insects, over the summer I have mozzie & flea companions ...They are cheap to feed too :wink:

    Mingle
  • MingleMingle Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    Some folk use the term "animal companion" as oppose to "owing a pet" ...Animal companion does have a better ring to it....

    I love insects, over the summer I have mozzie & flea companions ...They are cheap to feed too

    I think of my "pets" as companions too. This is why I prefer cats to dogs. I feel guilty pulling an animal around against it's will on a leash and keeping it trapped inside so I feel like a dog is a slave to me. Yet a cat I can let out when she wants to go outside and she is free to do as she will. Which makes it all the nicer when she choses to come back to me.

    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Mingle a cat chooses to have a "human companion" not the other way round :wink:

    lobster
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited January 28

    In Buddhism, intent is very important. In MN 56, for example, the Buddha makes the point that intentional actions are more blameworthy than unintentional one. While one should always try to be mindful of what one is doing, accidents happen and aren't really 'blameworthy' from the Buddhist point of view, at least from the Theravadin perspective. That's why there's no offense in the monastic code of discipline for monks who accidentally kill, say, ants in the process of sweeping.

  • newlotusnewlotus Australia Explorer

    We had to kill our chicken last week. Well my husband had to, I was bawling my eyes out on the sofa. The worst thing is that it was my dog who attacked it. I know now its just his instinct but I felt terrible for the thing. Must have been a terrible experience for the chicken. I sat with poor chicken until David got home. :( Poor thing.

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