They told me there was a mouse. They told me this was not an ordinary mouse. It was a mouse of which nightmares are made. They told me there was a mouse in my house. And this mouse in my house held my wife and daughters hostage for the better part of a day.
There was panic in her voice when she called to inform me about the mouse. Apparently, she saw it, out of the corner of her eye, run across the room. It was hiding somewhere and , from her vantage point, high atop the bed, she had lost track of it. There was a free range mouse in my house. She said it was a big mouse. A big, brown mouse. “What am I supposed to do?”, she asked.
“You have to find it and catch it.”, I said.
” I don’t want to find it.”, she replied.
“Well, I’m not sure if it will come to you, but you can wait and see.”, I advise.
“You should have stayed home from work today.”
“Well, I didn’t. Go next door and ask the neighbor’s sons to come over and catch the mouse.”, I told her.
When the phone rang 30 minutes later, she was hysterical. ” The boys weren’t home, so the father came. He started banging on the furniture, and the mouse ran out from under the bookcase, and now we can’t find it. It’s in here somewhere, and we don’t know where it went.”
“Where are you now?”, I asked.
“On the bed.”
“Where are the girls?”
“On the bed.”
“And the neighbor?”
“He went home. He said he can’t catch a mouse that he can’t find.”
“Ok.”, I told her. ” I will be home as soon as I can.”
It took about 15 minutes for her to call back. She had seen a second mouse, a small, grey mouse, perched on a ledge behind the sofa. She went next door and got Mr. Tarkanian again, He found it, and he whacked it. Ding dong the mouse is dead. Which old mouse? The small, grey mouse.
“Well, that’s good.”, I said. “The problem is solved.”
“There is still the big, brown one. It’s hiding in here. It knows we are trying to find it. This is one smart mouse.”
“Have you looked for it?”
“Are you kidding?”, She shreiked, “I’m not getting off this bed until it’s out of here.”
“You know, it’s more afraid of you, than you are of it.”, I said.
“I doubt it.”, she stated.
When I got home, my daughters had gone out, and one of them was not sure she was ever coming back. “Well, that was easy.”, I told my wife. “We should have got a mouse in here a long time ago.”
“She’s been traumatised”, I was informed. “Mr. Tarkanian caught the little one, and beat it’s head in with a metal rod. There was blood all over the floor. Right in front of her!”
“Ya, if only it was possible to capture and rehabilitate them. Any idea where this mouse could be? Where did you last see it?”
I followed her lead, and wandered around poking at things, looking under beds, furniture, and behind appliances. We checked closets, and the laundry hampers. No mouse. “It’s in here.”, my wife explained. ‘Its in here, hiding, watching us, just waiting for me to get up and start moving around, just so it can freak me out again.”
“Uh huh.”, I said, trying hard not to sound sarcastic. ” That’s one mighty mouse. Maybe he’s just here to save the day.”
“You’re an asshole”, she said. Clearly my attempts at not being sarcastic had failed.
“Well”, I advised, “we can either call an exterminator, or go the hardware store and take care of this ourselves.”
“I want it gone now.”, she replied.
So, off we went to the local Hardware Store. Apparently there is no humane way to get rid of mice. You have sticky traps,clap traps, and poison. I had asked my wife about her possibly doing to the mouse what she had done to the Beta fish. “Can’t you just beat the thing to death?” She declined.
We purchased the poison, and following the clerk’s instructions, strategically placed cubes of poison all around the house. It seems, the rodent(s) will eat it, and within hours, they will die. The downside is, we are likely to find dead mice around the place, which have to be picked up, and disposed of.
“I’m not doing that!”, my wife asserted.
I never thought, not even for a moment that she would. It will be my job to locate and dispose of any and all mice we find. I have become the rodent search and recovery professional.
In the meantime, my wife remains frantic. Only a corpse will relieve her anguish. She says there is still a mouse. She has never seen it leave. She says this is not an ordinary mouse. It is a mouse that lies in wait, stalking, waiting and then frightening her. She says there is still a mouse in my house. And I now search the closets, the furniture, and behind the appliances, looking for the dead mouse that is terrorizing my family.