I know there’s been a lot of critter talk around these parts lately, but I’m afraid I have another story for you.
Last night I went to sleep with the sheet pulled up over my head because there was a big hunstman in the top corner of my room and because the ceilings are high, there was no way I could get rid of it. So, bravely, I huddled under my sheet and prayed that I would make it through the night without the foul thing creeping over my bed and bungy jumping onto my face.
Turns out that I had more sinister things to worry about.
You know, I’m not sure what’s worse, spiders or mice. That spider was a bloody walk in the park compared to what I was about to encounter.
At 3.30am on the dot I was jolted awake by a rustling directly under my bed. I froze, listening, intent. Nothing. I made a fairly poor attempt to convince myself that I’d imagined things and settled down again once more in my makeshift white-knuckled sheet sanctuary, heart pounding.
A minute later it was back. Louder, more insistent. It was as if it could sense my fear and thrived upon it. It could only be one thing. A mouse. Luckily I knew an old trick guaranteed to repel rodents as well. I beat the crap out of my mattress. There is nothing that scares mice more than the sound of an hysterical human thumping a Sealy Posturepedic.
Huddling down once more, I made a conscious attempt to calm my breathing, convincing myself that my fail-proof method had no doubt chased away my intruder.
The third time it moved, I screamed.
Not a high pitched horror movie scream, I hasten to add, but a low, gutteral back-of-the-throat yelp, the kind used by people who know the end is near.
The little bastard had won.
Gathering my few meager possessions, I fled and spent the remainder of the night on the couch at the other end of the house. Bad dreams and night sweats kept me awake and more than a little uncomfortable.
At long last morning dawned, and I worshipped the daylight, certain that it would keep the vermin at bay. After completing a thorough torchlight inspection under my bed from the safety of the hallway, I concluded that my nighttime visitor had departed. What I hadn’t realised was that it had merely changed locations.
The problem with the daylight hours is that you can see the little ferals when they run out from under the dresser in the kitchen as you’re happily skipping past. Innocence shattered, you realise that your life has irrovacably changed, and not for the better. No longer are the daylight hours safe.
Trying desperately to find that silver lining, you realise that yes, while your life has changed, so has that of the mouse. Though it enjoys its freedom now, it doesn’t realise that the death bell is tolling. It won’t be long now before it gets a whiff of a delicious smell, peanut butter perhaps, or jam. Twitching its whiskers in glee it will locate the source of the smell and hurry towards it, not realising that it moves ever closer to the end.
And though I may not be around to hear it, I will tonight rest easy in the knowledge that out there, somewhere, the night will echo with the most satisfying sound in the world.
UPDATE: Offically declaring a plague upon my house. When feeding our chooks this morning, a mouse skittered away as I leant over to open the food bin. Moments later I was blessed with the corpse of another in the chook’s water bucket. Nice.
Rodent deathtrap from here.