in Short Stories

The Mouse in the House

Below is an incident from my childhood which I remembered today.
“There must be atleast two or three of them.”, said my mother referring to the sightings of rats in our house which had become more frequent in the last few days.
“Yes, at least two. One of them is bigger than the other.”, I replied.
“Let’s set up a trap for them. Otherwise they will become a nuisance.” 
“Ok. Let me go and get them.”, I said as I rushed to the store room to get the mouse trap. “Should I set it up?”, I asked my mother, excited by the idea of baiting and trapping a mouse and rushed towards the refrigerator. I took out a small piece of dried bread from the refrigerator and was fixing it in the trap when my mother interrupted.
“Hey, what are you doing? A cold piece of dried bread? Let me cook a small piece of roti and we will apply some ghee and put it in the trap.”
“What? Roti? Ghee? Why the hell do we want to treat the rats with roti and ghee?”, I shouted as I found it hard to understand.
mouse trap

A typical mouse trap – Giving them what they want

“Because we want the mouse to do what we want (enter the trap), we must give them what they want (which is the nice smell of food). They won’t come into the trap if we just lure them with a dried piece of bread. These mice are not foolish. We have to lure them with what they can’t resist, which is the smell of roti and ghee.”

“Ok. If that is how it works.”, I said.
As I recalled this incident from my childhood, I was totally moved by the great lesson it has. My mom very clearly demonstrated that if we want someone to do what we want him to do, we must give him what he wants. But in our daily conversations, how often do we talk about the other person’s needs. We always start our conversations with “This is what I am doing, and this is what I want. And you should do this – buy this, act like this, or some other blah blah blah.” The other person must think on hearing this – “Why the hell in the world do I care about what you want?”
Only if we can keep in mind what the other person wants and start our conversations with his needs, and without doubt we can get the desired result more easily. Whether it is in sales or business or personal relationships, this one realization can change our lives.

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  1. A useful lesson that our parents teach by their action that helps all through our life.
    Thanks for sharing the useful nuggets.