There was a mouse in my house tonight. Literally.
My sister and I were just relaxing in our apartment when we heard the rustling of the cracker package that had been left setting out on the counter. We both exchanged a look and knew what the source of the sound was even though we’d never had rodent problems before. Neither of us shrieked; we just went into action.
My sister began assessment of the situation and went to establish a visual while I went to find my leather work gloves in the closet (don’t ask me why I brought them with me when I left the farm, but tonight I was glad that I had). We cleared most of the items from our kitchen counter top; the mixer, toaster, cooking utensil holder, paper towel rack, knife block, etc. When the microwave was the only thing left, we knew he would be under there.
“Just don’t let him run behind the fridge, or else we won’t get him,” I cautioned my sister, needlessly. She nodded silently in understanding.
Having been raised on the farm, neither of us are afraid of the little critters. In fact, we used to catch mice in the barn all the time growing up and play with them before turning them loose again. I remember catching grief from our mom and grandmothers for doing it; we weren’t afraid of the deadly hanta virus – we were farm kids after all!
When we moved the microwave, the critter scurried out and I slapped my hand down to catch him. He let out a frightened little squeak and struggled to escape, but to no avail.
“Poor little guy,” my sister stated. “You startled him!”
We both laughed, because I’d been thinking the same thing – never mind that we both knew that we’d be disposing of him once we got him out of the building.
Using both of my gloved hands to restrain the brown rodent, holding him by his tail, we decided that it would be best if my sister opened the doors for me so I wouldn’t chance letting him loose inside the building.
As we both stepped outside our apartment, heading towards the building’s main entrance, we made some crack about the story, “If you give a mouse a cookie…” and I remembered something very important. Neither of us had remembered to grab our apartment key.
I spun around and looked at my sister to warn her of the danger we were in and our eyes meet. I knew she knew what I was thinking. It was like that moment of panic when you tip too far back in your chair and you know you’re going to fall, but there’s nothing you can do about it…
The door went “click,” and we were sure we were doomed.
We both stood there in the apartment hall, staring at each other in silence, and the little mouse in my gloved hands squirmed and dared to squeak, as if purposely adding insult to injury. We both had on light shirts and jeans. Both of our cell phones were locked inside. My sister had only stockings on her feet while I at least had boots.
Well, might as well finish what we started, I thought and I took the mousy outside to dispose of him.
Lucky for us, our neighbor was a generous and understanding person and let us borrow his phone to call the landlord about a spare key.
But she was babysitting half a dozen kids and it would be an hour before she could come to our rescue. We were more than welcome to come get the key though. With only light shirts on and below zero temperatures outside, neither of us relished the idea of walking the dozen blocks to her house.
Our neighbor really is a good guy, because next he tossed the keys to his truck at me.
Being the one of us with shoes, I dashed outside and drove to the landlord’s house in my neighbor’s truck. She was waiting for me at the door with all of the keys to the building and asked that I be sure to return the keys yet that night. “No problem,” I said and took off again.
“If you ever need a favor, whatever it is,” I told my neighbor as I handed his truck keys back to him, “you just find me and ask!”
Finally able to unlock our door, the first thing I did was to grab my key and put it in my pocket. Then I put on my coat and returned the landlord’s keys.
After saying thanks, I turned to leave, but remembered something. “So, do you think you could look into the mouse problem?”