Two days ago I was typing in the kitchen, when a small dark shape darted along the cabinet baseboards out of the corner of my eye. When I looked up, there was nothing, so I cautiously went back to work.
There was another movement, and I looked up again — only to see a little grey mouse looking at me from behind the refrigerator. Ack!
After screaming like a silly girl, I packed up the computer and headed for the living room, but I couldn’t concentrate because I could still hear little mouse claws running back and forth across the linoleum.
How on earth could this stupid mouse be so bold? And how did it get in? This was the second mouse we had had in the kitchen in the past month, and it gave me a serious case of the jibblies. I thanked my lucky stars that Eleanor’s dance lesson that afternoon gave me a reason to stay out of the house, because there was no way I or any of the kids were going to be hanging around with Furrytail McCreepyClaws scampering about. When Brian came home from work, he set up a few traps and I shooed everybody out the door for a fast food dinner.
The creature was caught in a trap that evening, so all’s well now, but it didn’t prevent him from penetrating the kids’ imaginations.
Jeffrey became completely paranoid, feeling certain that the slightest movement on his part would cause a mouse to materialize from nowhere and bite him. I told him that piano practice was good for frightening mice away, and he went through his recital piece five times.
Eleanor, on the other hand, spent time developing plans for elaborate, ruthless traps, in particular one called a “Cut Trap,” which involves a cage, a knife, a wooden block, and a giant picture of a cat’s head. The process, as far as I could figure out, requires someone to stand patiently for hours, and when a mouse runs under the knife, he or she stomps his foot down on the wooden block and the knife cuts the mouse in two. “And then you can go outside and play.”
I’ve yet to figure out what the giant cat’s head is for.