We've got mice here at Sauk Valley Media, and I'm not talking about those devices that help us navigate our computers.
For years, mice have been guests here at our Sterling office. It's not an infestation, as sightings are few and far between.
But in extreme cold, they look for anywhere warm. While some of us at work think it's too cold at times in the office, it's far better than outside. Apparently, the mice agree.
The other day, one of my co-workers, Jenny Young, looked for a Planters container of mixed nuts in her desk drawer. To her chagrin, she found that its plastic lid had been chewed through.
She knew it was a mouse, which unsettled her. She doesn't like rodents, creepy-crawlies, or their ilk. Some months ago, a spider made its way down a web toward her desk, inches away from her face. She shrieked.
(We all have our fears. Centipedes are one of mine.)
After Jenny's recent discovery, another of my co-workers, Jim Dunn, went to the store to get a glue trap and put it in Young's drawer.
The next day, Jim checked Jenny's drawer before she came in. A mouse was stuck to the trap, still moving.
Jim then put the mouse and trap in a white plastic bag and took it to the dumpster.
Now, glue traps are in Jim's and my desks, but they have drawn no victims – yet.
Why do I write about mice? Because stories about animals of any kind interest our readers.
In recent weeks, I wrote pieces about people's concerns for pigs in below-zero weather and a man who was upset after a state conservation officer shot an injured deer.
The pig and deer stories drew 96 and 113 comments, respectively, on our Facebook page. That's a lot more than many of our stories, which are usually about humans.
Of course, as with most of our stories, there's always that commenter who questions why it's news.
For our deer story, a woman wrote, "Seriously?!? This is top news in Dixon?"
If readers' reaction on our Facebook page is any clue, just about any animal story is considered news.
David Giuliani is a news editor for Sauk Valley Media. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-798-4085, ext. 525. Follow him on twitter: @DGiuliani_SVM.