Saturday, November 8, 2014

Mis-adventures with a Mouse

For this blog I am not inclined to talk about my life outside of school, but this post will be an exception.

On Monday, I was preparing for bed. My wife was still in the living room. As I sat on the edge of the bed about to crawl in, a loud voice reverberated down the hallway, "CHAP! COME HERE! CHAP! COME HERE!" As I responded to the insistent cry, I asked what was wrong. My wife said she saw something, an animal of some kind, run across the wide opening that leads to a room that she can see from the couch she was sitting on. She was seriously alarmed, since she couldn't rule out a mouse. For the next half hour, armed with yard sticks and brooms, we banged, poked, and prodded furniture. The unknown creature finally revealed himself to me in an attempt to escape our incessant poking. A large mouse dashed from location to location, each effort resulting in my wife convulsing and creatively dancing to avoid any chance of contact with said mouse. We tried to direct the mouse to allow us to corner, capture or force it to run out the opened exterior door. He refused our efforts and ended up running under the refrigerator, refusing to come out. Drat!

Not wanting to be left alone in the house with a mouse, my wife went to a 24 hour store and got several mouse traps. We baited (with peanut butter), armed and arrayed them in the kitchen and, with misgivings, went to bed. About 3:30 AM we awoke to a loud snap. Cautiously, I entered the kitchen and saw one trap closed but empty. No mouse. I went back to bed and we heard no more noises that night. A little depressing, the thought that this mouse was able to escape with the bait.

The next day, Tuesday, while weighing options, I thought that the traps were insufficient for the size of the mouse sought. My son-in-law, in the pest control business, had a couple of rat traps that I borrowed, baited and set. However, that night was quiet. No sound. No Mouse. But he was still around, leaving little calling cards. Wednesday, while I was at school, my wife bought two more rat traps. We baited and set them, one in a hallway, the other in the living room. A little after midnight a loud snap interrupted our sleep. The trap in the hallway was sprung. BUT NO MOUSE! This was becoming very disturbing. What kind of mouse is clever/quick enough to avoid a trap twice! We reached a new level of discouragement. Were we destined to live with this new, un-welcomed house guest for weeks, months, even years? Our sleep pattern was being interrupted and I am not a pleasant person when I lack sufficient sleep.

Thursday night we put fresh bait in the 4 traps and relocated them. My son-in-law suggested that we put a shoe box over a trap, either propped up or with a hole cut in it. Mice are curious and can easily smell the bait. It is something different. We went to bed and this time put a rug in the door sill, to reduce the chance that the mouse could enter our inner sanctum bedroom. We slept through the night and heard no sharp sounds. Waking at 6:00 to prepare for school, I checked the traps. The first three were empty. I forgot about the fourth until nearly ready to leave for work. I saw a dust bunny near a bookcase and realized that the mouse had probably dragged it out from under it. The fourth trap was straight ahead and in it I saw a most reassuring sight; a still mouse in a sprung trap. What release, what pleasure, not that the mouse was dead, but that he would not be terrorizing my wife any more. After waking my wife and sharing the good tidings, I took the trap outside and disposed of its contents. Off to school I went in a welcomed wonderful frame of mind.

Trust me when I say that Friday night was the best night's sleep of the week. This was the first time in 45 years of marriage that we have had a mouse in the house. Lizards? Sure. Ants? Oh yeah. Mice? Never. I guess we were due. Here's to another 45 years before the next one.

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