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Monday, Jan. 26, 2015

From my Front Porch

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

There's a mouse in the house

It was almost midnight as I sat at my kitchen table having a phone chat with my next-door neighbor, the consummate night owl.

"Oh, my goodness," I whispered suddenly.

"What?" asked night owl.

"Something is moving, a shadow," I tried to explain. "A shadow -- what in the world?"

I was confused as I watched the image move quickly back and forth along the wall.

Then it hit me. "Gracious, a mouse. I think there's a mouse in my kitchen!"

I put down the phone, stood up and quietly tiptoed over to where I had seen the suspicious movement. Sure enough, there was the little critter scampering around oblivious to the fact that he had been discovered -- for a second.

He spotted me. I froze, stifling the need to scream. We stared at one another wondering who would make the first move. He did and was gone.

I ran to the phone. "Good grief," I said to night owl. "It's a tiny little mouse. What do I do?"

Suddenly I had a brilliant thought and answered my own question. "Of course! A mousetrap!"

I put night owl on an indefinite hold and rummaged the kitchen drawer that held a miscellaneous supply of necessities, hoping it included a mousetrap. I found one, but as I examined the contraption of death, moving the mechanism back and forth a few times, I realized I was probably not up to the task at hand.

I grabbed the phone again, whispering fiercely. "OK, I found a trap, but I don't know how to set it. Do you?"

"I have no idea," clueless night owl responded.

"You're a big help," I said with a note of sarcasm. "Hold on."

After a few moments of inspecting the gadget I finally had it properly engaged. Recalling the myth of mice preferring cheese, I opted for the more modern opinion of peanut butter. As I attempted to bait the trap, it suddenly sprang, flipping from my fingers into the air with a loud snap. I cried out and ran back to the phone.

"Did you hear that?"

"Of course. What happened?" night owl asked with a laugh.

"The stupid thing sprang when I tried to bait it," I explained. Then I realized that if I wanted the trap set right away I would have to awaken my sleeping giant of a husband.

"I'll go try and wake my better half," I said uncertainly, remembering that he had gone to bed early not feeling well.

I hesitated as I entered our bedroom, but I knew that for better or for worse, drastic situations required drastic measures. I gently shook him.

"Sweetie," I whispered melodiously. "I need your help."

"Huh?" he mumbled.

"I need your help in the kitchen," I repeated urgently. "There's a mouse."

"So?" he said, irritated.

"Please, I can't set the trap and it's a yucky mouse," I pleaded desperately.

"You woke me up from a deep sleep for that?" he asked with a definite lack of sympathy. "Go away. I don't feel good."

"Fine," I whispered defiantly. "I'll do it myself." I retreated to the kitchen and to the phone.

"I'm on my own," I said to night owl as I determined to make one final attempt at setting the trap. I finagled with the contraption this time managing to properly set it with what I hoped was just the right amount of what choosy mice choose.

"Well, it's set," I said upon returning to the phone. "I'll call you tomorrow and let you know how it went."

Early the next morning I hesitantly entered the kitchen dreading what I might find. I took a deep breath and looked where I had placed the trap. There he was. I peered closely before I could be certain that he was indeed dead.

My conscience was salved as I determined from the sticky grin on his furry little face he had at least departed happy and that for a kitchen-invading, peanut butter-loving rodent it probably wasn't such a bad way to go.