As part of our New Year’s celebration here at the Outdoor Newshound, we’re going to serve up some of our favorite critter tales from 2007 for our devoted readership in the next few days.

It’s not unusual for a homeowner to be challenged by invading rodents that are particularly wily and trap savvy, but the story of a Maine man’s personal battle with one particular mouse rated high on our list in 2007.

Bill Exner said he captured a single, pesky mouse in his house on three different occasions, and each time, with in-your-face arrogance, the critter escaped.


As its final act of defiance, the taunting rodent performed the ultimate insult, stealing Exner’s lower denture as it rested on the nightstand beside his bed while he slept.

Exner, 68, of Waterville, Maine, said he and his wife Shirley thoroughly scoured their bedroom after the dentures disappeared.

“We moved the bed, moved the dressers and the nightstand and tore the closet apart,” Exner told the Kennebec Journal. “I said, ‘I knew that little stinker stole my teeth.’ I just knew it.”

The Exners discovered a small opening in the wall where they figured the tooth thief was entering the room and enlisted their daughter’s fiancé to help with some demolition work.

“He brought a crowbar and hammer and he sawed off a section of wood and pulled up the molding and everything,” Exner said. “It was quite a job.”

Sure enough, they found Exner’s chompers—but no mouse.

Then, a few days after retrieving his teeth, Exner’s wife said his big-eared nemesis casually strolled out of his hole and stared at her husband, kind of like the sarcastic mouse on the old Tom & Jerry cartoons.

“He’s taunting him. I swear he’s taunting him,” Shirley Exner said of the rascally rodent.

The dirty rat.