Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: A mouse set a house on fire after the homeowner threw the rodent into a pile of burning leaves.
Example: [Associated Press, 2006]
Origins: Reminiscent of the "Jeep at Half the Price" legend came the
A few days later, however, the homeowner claimed the mouse was already dead when he threw it into the pile of burning leaves, and that the house fire was touched off by winds that blew embers from the burning leaf pile back towards the house:
A small-town rumor that sparked world-wide interest about a mouse burning down a house has been found to be untrue.Then, the next day, he changed his story again and once more claimed the original version was true:
The mouse story, however, has been doused by Mares.
"It's really humorous more than anything that a mouse burned down the house," he told
Mares said he trapped and killed the critter and tossed it on the fire.
The flames, he said, probably reached his house because they were driven by high winds.
Capt. Jim Lyssy of the Fort Sumner Fire Department said the rumor probably got started because there was "a little too much excitement" at the time of the fire.
Mares and his nephew stood by his original version, in which he claimed the mouse scampered into his house and set it afire.Perhaps the original version was true but
"That dang mouse crawled in there," Mares, who talks quickly and in slightly broken English, said in a phone interview from a motel in Fort Sumner, where he is staying with his nephew. "I have an awful hate for those critters.''
In the interview, Mares recounted three times the series of events. A smelly little mouse got caught in one of the glue traps he'd set in and around his home. He was pleased
Mares went outside and threw the whole deal
How did the mouse run away, still trapped in the glue?
"The fire melted the glue and he got away," Mares said.
Either way, we look forward to the next installment of the saga.
Last updated: 10 January 2006
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