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Once upon a time, I was sleeping on my little sissy’s couch. It was either that or snuggle with her in bed and since her son was still nursing, I was afraid of awkward encounters of the midnight snacking variety. Anyway, I awoke to the sound:
I thought perhaps it was Buck, my nephew, running his toys across the bars of his crib. But it wasn’t coming from that direction.
So I wandered into the darkness of the kitchen. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something small and square move across the dining room.
The windows, which are low to the ground (the same windows that I lost my Nephew Watching License to because I was told to keep an eye on Buck and the only requirement was to make sure he didn’t plummet out these windows while my sister brushed her teeth, and when she came back he was leaning out those same windows while I sat three inches away engaged in Pinterest. Those windows.) I thought those windows were letting in enough of a breeze to move a toy across the floor.
Yawning, I leaned down and picked it up.
The toy bit me.
In that flash of brilliance that only happens during a late-night emergency, I remembered a mouse trap that had been set behind the refrigerator.
It’s a country home, you see, surrounded by farming fields of mint. Which is nice when you need a fresh mojito. But I digress.
I chucked the not-toy across the room and it ran beneath the couch. My bed. Still attached to the trap. The mouse, not the couch, I mean.
I cradled my hand and debated the merits of becoming Mouse Woman. I could already feel an insatiable desire for cheese overwhelming me. Would I start scaring elephants now? Dress in tiny clothing and mend ball gowns? Would I teach large eared pachyderms to fly? Would I fit under a chef’s hat and learn to cook? I could hear the opening strains of Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggety Dog in my head.
The possibilities were endless and I could feel a hankering for Gorgonzola.
Actually, the Gorgonzola thing was pretty usual for me, even before I became Mouse Woman.
I had a dilemma though that didn’t have anything to do with cheese. I didn’t know where to go to sleep. I couldn’t sleep with a Rambo mouse under my couch. I couldn’t go wake my sister because she’s only accustomed to small children waking her in the wee hours of the night, and I’m fairly certain she knows how to use a shotgun. There were small children in and on top of every piece of furniture in the house.
And then came another dilemma, this one of a moral type. My son was on the other couch. I couldn’t just abandon him to the mouse.
On the other hand, he was blissfully unaware of the danger. And his couch was pretty high up. It’d be cruel to wake him…
but crueler to leave him to his fate of Squeaky the Butcher Mouse. I mean, he already had a taste of human blood…what if he was craving more the same way I was craving a hunk of Bleu?
But what could I do? Beat Squeaky to death with a shovel? Shoot him? Lure him with cheese to the salivating Cairn Terrier outside? Train it to do tricks? Tricks like not stopping my heart or eating my flesh?
I approached the couch and picked up my son, my very toes fearing for their lives.
A loud rattling noise erupted from beneath my once-a-bed. I died several times.
After I made a squealing sound which was all I could muster, I ran like the wind down to the basement, where I crawled in next to my sleeping friend (also visiting) for protection. Together, like a couple of school kids, we listened to the rattling and clicking and scurrying sound above our heads for the next two hours.
In my desperate attempt to redeem myself from the Buck window watching incident, I made a beeline for the first floor as soon as I heard my sister and him awake. I could just picture her setting him down for a minute and Buck’s little pudgy hand reaching for that psychopathic rodent.
I explained the situation – thereby saving everyone’s lives in the process – and we began moving furniture. No mouse.
Eventually, we find Squeaky. Under the high chair. Still attached to the trap.
Still freaking alive!
Seriously, this mouse deserves a medal.
Instead, we get the shovel.
No, not for bashing the little furry brains in. For transporting out to the mint farm. You know. So he can come back in tomorrow night.
But he kept crawling up the shovel every time my sister tried to scoop him.
Yes. Still attached to the trap.
When she finally got him centered she used her sprinting abilities to leap across the house to the back door and then she used her discus throwing abilities to toss him. It was epic.
I’m still craving cheese and I only wear red and white polka dot dresses with high heels now, but I’m sure that’s only a coincidence.
Anyway, I’m still alive.
This story originally appeared in my newsletter. You can subscribe here.