If You Give a Snake a Mouse Bomb


According to NPR, U.S. scientists have been working with officials in Guam to develop a solution to an outbreak of brown tree snakes that have devastated the country’s ecosystem. One way they are doing this is dropping dead mice laced with acetaminophen, which it seems is toxic to the snakes.

It’s not surprising that this solution would come about once the United States became involved. Scientists were clearly taking their cues from their favorite children’s classic, If You Give a Snake a Mouse Bomb.

For nostalgia’s sake, we’ve provided it below:

“If You Give a Snake a Mouse Bomb”

If you give a snake a mouse bomb, he’ll ask you for some water, because it had a chalky, metallic aftertaste.

When you give the snake some water, he’ll ask you if you’ve heard any good jokes lately.

You’ll ask him if he’s heard the one about the python and the paracetamol? He’ll say that he hasn’t and he’d like to hear it and you say that oh, he will and he sits there waiting.

If you make a snake wait, you’d better have a good reason and you really don’t, so you’ll change the subject by asking him if he’s eaten any good birds lately. He’ll say yes and offer to draw you a picture.

You’ll ask if he needs drawing utensils and he’ll say no. He uses a bird feather and some bird blood that squirted into a crevasse of the branch.

He may not see your stifled gag because at this point he’s distracted by a ringing noise. He’ll ask if you hear that ringing sound, too.

He’ll probably look around slightly paranoid and you’ll say that it was most likely all those birds he ate now chirping in his stomach.

You’ll both have a good laugh until he says that actually, his stomach isn’t feeling too great and he thinks that he should curl up on the ground.

After he curls up on the ground, he might make some undignified noises. To lighten the awkwardness, he’ll ask if you’ve heard any good jokes lately, because he can’t remember already asking you this.

You’ll start to ask if he’s heard the one about the tree snake and the Tylenol, but it feels less funny now.

When you dodge eye contact and just say no, the snake will probably get confused, but just lay his head down.

His lisp will become profoundly unintelligible, but it will sound like he asks you for some water to clear his head.

When you give the snake some water, he’ll motion that he wants that mouse over there as a snack to go with it.

And if you give the snake that mouse over there, he probably won’t be able to eat it because without immediate treatment, an overdose of acetaminophen can lead to liver failure and death in a few days.

For snakes, it’s like hours.

Jordan Lints

Jordan Lints

Political and Cultural Contributor
Jordan Lints

Latest posts by Jordan Lints (see all)