I'm always contemplating something. Sometimes I write serious things, sometimes it's just a little bit funny! I hope you enjoy!

Friday, December 4, 2009

This Guest Was A Real Pest

(This was written a couple of years ago- just didn't know where to send it to for publishing)

When you live in the country, you never know who (or what) might come to call. Noises inside the walls were my first clue that we had uninvited guest. When I found nuts and other goodies in the corner of the pantry, I realized this guest was a real pest!

I was no stranger to varmints. My childhood home was across the street from an open field. Mice would come to visit, seeking a bit of warmth and something to snack on. We would laugh as we watched them eat out of the dog’s dish. It might seem like redneck entertainment to some, but hey, we lived in a small town.

I doubted this intruder was furry and cute. Loud and rambunctious, it took over our household at night. I was sure it was a rat, possibly a chipmunk or squirrel. Cute little mice were one thing; big rodents were different. Sleep was hard to come by. I didn’t know what might run across my face at night!

I first sighted the mischievous rodent on a fall afternoon. It had been raining for days, and the gloomy atmosphere gave the appearance of dusk rather than early afternoon. I was preparing supper when the offensive scamp ran by me, about ½ inch from my foot. I only saw it out of the corner of my eye, but it looked BIG! After that every shadow made me jump. Even the cat seemed afraid and would only eat with a light on.

That evening, while cleaning up after supper, we heard a rattling under the sink. My daughter opened the cupboard door. “There’s a mouse in a bottle” she yelled. I peered into the cupboard, and slowly reached for the bottle. With lightening speed, I tipped the bottle over, trapping the mouse. He died within minutes, but we gave it a little extra time just to be sure. Going about our nightly rituals, the mouse was forgotten. The next morning when I opened the cupboard door, he was gone! I was being duped by a little mouse and I didn’t like it one bit. I vowed to catch this thing, no matter what!

Needing some ammunition to win this war, I went shopping for mousetraps. The choices were staggering. Did I want a sticky trap; a live trap or one of those old fashioned spring traps? Not wanting to cause the poor mouse any suffering, I ruled out the sticky traps and anything with poison. I decided against a live trap, sure the mouse would return in a few days. I finally opted for a quick and painless death- The spring trap. Snap the neck and the deed is done.

I craved a good nights sleep. That night, I set the traps. I used peanut butter topped with grated cheese as bait- Yummy! Although mousetraps are extremely simple contraptions, they are at the same time complicated. Not everyone has the patience and finesse needed to set one. I certainly didn’t! The trap kept springing on me, splattering grated cheese around the room. After numerous tries, I finally had it set. I cleaned the cheese off the walls and floor. I then went to bed; sure I would catch our little escape artist.

Checking the trap the next morning, I laughed when I saw the bait was gone, yet the trap remained empty. This was no ordinary mouse. I named it Houdini.

I vowed to catch Houdini if it took every fiber of my being! I took American cheese and wrapped it around the “platform” that the bait goes on. This time, the cheese wasn’t going anywhere, which was proven the next 5 times I attempted to set the trap.

Needing a break from the stresses of trap setting, I went out to check the mail. Upon my return, I stopped dead in my tracks. On the counter stood the mouse, eating the cheese off the unset trap. It looked at me and smirked!

Now I was mad! I slammed the door, scaring the mouse away. I return to the nerve wracking task of trap setting. Finally, I was successful. I S-L-O-W-L-Y walked to the kitchen sink. Gently I placed the trap underneath.

Within an hour-SNAP- Houdini wasn’t such a great escape artist after all! He had put up a good fight. I almost felt guilty. But not that guilty. I emptied the trap, and set it again. A short while later- SNAP! Another one. How many more were there?

I reset the trap, placing it under the sink. A day went by, then two. No mice. As weeks went by, the trap remained critter free. I stood victorious- I had won the war. My uninvited guest (I mean pest) problem was over- for the time being!

Now I need to figure out how to set those ant traps…..

Carolee Sperry
December 4, 2009

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