I sat by lamplight, dutifully bill paying at the kitchen counter. It was Friday night, in the dead of winter. Jon gone on a business trip, wouldn’t get home ‘til midnight. The kids watching “Robots” in the rec. room, scarfing popcorn.
Unconventional Mousetrap by allie taylor
Noiselessly, I gingerly tiptoed to the dining room, peering into the darkness.
Nothing. All was eerily quiet. My imagination? Back to the counter.
The electric bill. I entered several more bank drafts. Ka-ching. Ka-ching.
“Poorer by the second.” Sigh. I sipped my lukewarm tea.
There it was!!!
Cranch. Scurry, then rustle rustle.
On cat’s feet, I crept towards the dining room, flicking the light switch on hard and fast. Movement in the corner.
A tiny pink tail was disappearing under the antique trunk. Oh. No. A mouse in the house. But not a man. This called for fast action.
Racing into the kitchen, I grabbed a large mixing bowl, summoned a teenager for reinforcements. The seven year old arrived in a flash.
“Mommy, mommy…what’s going on?”
“Nothing!” I answered shortly, concealing the bowl behind my back.
“Go brush your teeth and get ready for bed please.”
Thankfully, he did. That’s ALL we needed: an excitable little kid up past his bedtime, scaring off the prey.
Jonathan and I rolled the trunk aside. No mouse. We shifted the buffet. No mouse. I planned to trap it under the bowl, a makeshift Gitmo. But somehow it escaped while I rallied forces. I spied a small opening around the hot water pipe near the register in the corner.
“The mouse must’ve escaped down the hole, like Alice,” I thought. “Good. End of story.”
I headed to bed a little later, falling asleep hard. But not long. In the wee hours I was jarred from pleasant dreams.
“Mommy, mommy! Daddy’s chasing a mouse!”
(Throat clear.) “So go help him.” He raced downstairs.
I turned over lazily, yanked covers over my head, yawned. Hummed a little tune…..”The mouse came back, the very next day….”
But sleep was elusive. Yelling, muttering, running feet, crashing, banging drifted up through the floorboards. I wedged a pillow over my head.
BANG! FWAM! And an especially loud final WHAP! Light footsteps raced up the stairs. I sat straight up in the bed as the door flew open. The messenger was back.
“Mommy, mommy! Daddy killed the mouse. We chased it all over the living room and the kitchen too. We cornered it in the game closet. Now it’s squished! And dead. And it’s so disgusting and gross.”
A wave of relief washed over me from head to toe. Exhale. The mouse, was dead. And I’d had no part in the execution. I settled deeper into the pillows. He crawled up in his spiderman pj’s, snuggled in, worn out from the hunt. I stroked his soft curls, looked deep in his baby blues.
“So how’d Daddy kill the mouse, honey?”
“You know the wooden clogs he gave you for Christmas last year? The suede ones? ”
Some questions are better left unasked. (And unanswered.)
Update: I’m loving these mouse stories you’re sharing. Please share yours!
More entertainment for your snow day:
nancy mcmahan says
A cup of coffee and a great laugh. Thanks
Oh, you are the BEST “yarn” weaver! Love the part about the soft curls and the “revelation”!
Ewww!!!! Why not HIS shoes?
Allie Taylor says
My thoughts EXACTLY!
Barbara B. says
This reminds me of a story when I was a little girl – my aunt was visiting in our guest bedroom – when she started shrieking at the top of her lungs! My Mother ran in, horror on her face at the display, and there she was my aunt, standing on top of the bed, hands up in the air, jumping up and down yelling at the top of her lungs, “there’s a mouse in here”. I must have been less than a year old scared out of my wits at the commotion, and she’s yelling to my Mother “kill the mouse now before I die of fright”, Mom got a broom and somehow got the poor mouse in a corner, and squished him over and over then put a bowl over him! When Dad arrived home his first duty was to extricate the mouse ASAP. So could relate to your experience and had a REALLY GOOD BELLY LAUGH!!!!! THANKS, THAT WAS GREAT TO AMUSE DURING A BLIZZARD
Allie Taylor says
Ha ha. A broom and a bowl. Your resourceful mother. Bowls really come in handy in a pinch. I remember sitting high on a second bunk in my high school dorm room as the maintenance man, Syd Veysey, chased a mouse around my room. I’m not sure what I thought it might do to me. I guess age and experience have given me courage.
Linda Jenkins says
Love this story. It brought back a memory of a day during my first marriage. I lived in a mobile home a short distance from the Air Force base. I woke to the rhythmic tap, tap, tap of something coming closer and closer to the bedroom. When I peered over the side of the bed, I came face to face with a rat, Naturally, I screamed. My then husband grabbed his hockey stick, chased the rat into the kitchen. The rat met his demise at the end of a hockey stick. The very thought of a mouse or a rat still makes me shudder. I don’t think I would be wearing those clog slippers again.
Allie Taylor says
Oh my goodness Linda. Reminds me of the rat in the sugar bowl in West Virginia in Jeannette Walls’ Glass Castle book. Thank God for hockey sticks, huh? (Husbands too.)
Great story!! And even better the way you tell it. =) We did have a mouse in Easley, but our flying squirrel story is better. It got in our walls through the basement, via many holes in the ground. Of course he was most active at night while we tried to sleep. After several attempts and catches-and-release by Jac (who did not want to kill it), he kept returning. (I did tell him that letting the little thing go in the woods near our house was not a deterrent.) Finally, we set a little trap on top of the cement wall in the basement…in my office. One day while I was typing on the computer, I heard a scratching sound. I turned around to see a little rodent staring right back at me with his round, dark eyes. I stifled a scream and immediately got Jac, who put him, trap and all, in the back of his pickup truck, drove out to a wooded area near the Southern Wesleyan campus, and set him “free.” He never returned…thankfully.
Allie Taylor says
Susie — I think I may REMEMBER this flying squirrel story. Oh my word. In your OFFICE???? We’re having a blizzard here, so I’m just THOROUGHLY entertained by these awesome stories. You were victorious over that flying squirrel. HA!THANK YOU!!!
Barbara Child says
Funny how such a small pest can make us shriek and fall apart! You tell it so well!
Ginger Worrell says
Allie, this will gross you out even more. When I lived in my little 4-room house in Piedmont before moving to Easley, I saw a mouse one night. Boyfriend at the time, said one mouse means there are more elsewhere so we went and bough several bags of mousetraps and he set them for me. Then thy started going off, click…click…bam…click….. He’d release the trap, dispose of the mouse and reset and then again we heard click….click….click. Before the night was over, we had caught 13 mice in my little house. I was thoroughly horrified but it was in the country across from a fishing lake and surrounded by kudzo….perfect home for mice when they weren’t terrorizing me! And this is a TRUE story. I was thoroughly sickened by the whole situation!!
UGH! I am TERRIFIED of mice! Believe it or not, I was once an animal control officer, and used to trap skunks and remove snakes from peoples homes and offices. But, a mouse or rat?? I run screaming, lol! We had one in our house last year and luckily our cat is quite the hunter. She caught it, but my husband killed it by stomping on it…EWW! I ran and hid in the bathroom and tucked a towel under the door in case it came to hide in my hiding spot. They just give me the creeps. Try filling any openings around the house with steel wool…they won’t scratch through that. Also, check your dryer vent to make sure it’s closing properly. I have heard that planting mint around the house will keep them away, but I have also heard of a product called Mouse Magic from Bonide. Maybe that will help? I hope they stay away!!
Karla – you were an animal control officer? I’m impressed. Skunks and snakes???? You the woman. Thanks for the tips, I have mint planted near my side door. Actually, it’s taking over. And I haven’t seen a mouse in a while. Hmmmm….maybe that’s it. Mint for mice. Many thanks for the tips!
Carina Spring says
Very entertaining story (and comments!). Sounds like you were pretty brave with the bowl! I have had a few encounters with mice over the years, and have to admit to a bit of screeching, but I have never seen a rat – I think that would REALLY scare me!!!