As I sit here on our dining table, lotus-style and all zen (not!), a small brown furry creature is likely working up the courage to scoot across the family room floor in search of cup cake crumbs. And I’m not talking about Bang, Crash or Boom* although you could be forgiven for thinking so.
It is with great shame that I admit this: we have a mouse. This little rodent that Bang will probably want to keep as a pet, embodies my complete failure as a homemaker or Tom our builder’s complete failure as a builder, neither of which comes as a great surprise.
What is surprising though is my reaction and the little guy’s speed. He really motors along, seemingly turbocharged by my screams. Before today I always laughed at people who were scared of mice. I had one as a pet and it was sweet, his ever-moving whiskers tickling me as he crawled around my neck and through my hair, and the only reason they were banned as pets now I’m a very tall child grown-up is they smell really, really bad. That single reason has now exploded into a thousand little reasons perfectly encapsulated in my ability to jump from comfortably seated to teetering on the sofa balancing the laptop. I now know that if there were mice at the beach I’d be a bloody great surfer.
The thing about mice is they do bring out the best in you, I not only knew I could surf a sofa while holding a laptop, I also mastered the ability to yell while whispering, which I found to be not so effective in rousing my husband from his gorilla wrestling match or the like, in the next room (this being no reflection on my ability to whisper yell as he makes a point of not hearing a word I say, especially when I pull out my megaphone when he’s sitting right next to me "Hello anyone home? No? Ok").
So with this sort of new found fear sparking mega-production of adrenaline you’d think I’d be brick in hand ready to squash my little Beatrix Potter friend into a meat patty, but no. Surprise number 2. – I don’t want to kill it, I don’t know whether to blame 'The Green Mile' or whether I’m just a life-loving creature at heart but all I can think is “I bet he has a little family waiting for him to bring home the bacon or in this case half a cup cake". So what to do? "What about opening the backdoors and mustering it cattle-style into the corral, that is our backyard?" I propose to my newly materialized hubby. Pretending once again that I hadn’t said anything he says "Do you want me to go and buy traps?" I stared mouse-in-headlights style not knowing what to do, as he took my silence as a yes.
He returned with surprise number 3. Evidence of complete love, consideration and devotion in the form of humane traps!!!! This from a guy brought up on a farm! Actions therefore very worthy of an out-of-character show of affection and I was planning all sorts of tomfoolery when he pulled out the murderous kind as well, still hopeful I said "we can try these humane ones first and then those right?" Wrong. "I’m not risking a mouse running around while we're away, I’m putting out both."
I slumped back to my normal state of ho-hum and realized there was no point in fighting a country boy – I would just have to live in hope the little guy liked cheese more than peanut butter, the brown furry thing that is, the Beatrix potter character, the scurrying rodent, no I’m not talking about my hubby I would never refer to him as a Beatrix Potter character, I meant the mouse.
UPDATE: At last count all traps are empty, maybe the broom tunnel to the back door combined with Bang’s remote control helicopter and Thomas the tank engine worked? I hope so as the alternative is a toy story style takeover of our house in our absence yet this time the toys do poo – great!
*Bang = our gorgeous 2 yr old, Crash = our cheeky 9 mth old, Boom = my long-suffering hubby
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