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Friday, July 06, 2007

All Creatures Great And Small, Part 2

Mary Kay writes...

For the last six weeks or so, we have had a visitor living with us. Not someone we invited in, by any means!

Our awareness of our house guest started when we heard scurrying in the ceiling. At first, I would only hear this during the day time. Later on, our friend would wake us up in the night, racing around our bedroom ceiling. Fortunately, it is solid wood, so I didn’t think he would fall through on us! We decided that we had mice, and hoped the racing was one of the neighbor cats coming over and chasing them. This seemed to be the case, as one morning I awoke to see a small mouse crawling across our bedroom window sill. Needless to say, I woke Charlie up and left the room! But the mouse got away.

Then, he started to take greater advantage of our hospitality. One morning I walked in, and a large bite had been taken out of a banana sitting in our fruit bowl. That seemed odd, as I didn’t think mice ate bananas, but maybe they are different here. We got some poisoned grain and scattered that around the kitchen hoping to get rid of our friend. We even put some on a banana, hoping that would attract him. But our guest was smarter than that, and not fooled in the least by the grain or the banana. Would Snow White have eaten it if the witch had offered a poison banana instead of an apple?

Things soon escalated. I went into a cabinet one morning to get a new carton of milk, and found that our visitor had chewed a hole in the side of one of the milk cartons. There was milk everywhere. In addition, he had eaten one entire container of shelf-stable yogurt also in the cabinet. This was an all-out declaration of war!

The next night, we put out poisoned yogurt in the cabinet. Once again, our friend didn’t touch that – instead he went for the cartons of fruit juice! And this time, not just one. Four cartons of juice were punctured and had to be thrown away. What kind of creature is this that is eating fruit and milk, not bread and grains? Do we have a bat or something?

Last week, Chip went into the kitchen at lunch to put his uneaten pizza away. Opening a drawer to get a plastic bag, he shrieked and ran out of the kitchen. For sitting in the drawer was our house guest – a huge, 8-inch plus tail, rat! Chip says the photo bears a good resemblance to our furry friend, but is not nearly ferocious enough. The kids and I ran out of the house, and sent in the security man, our driver, our housekeeper and Charlie to try and catch it. After about thirty minutes of chasing it around the kitchen, the rat got away. We put out more poisoned yogurt and grain, hoping to finally kill it.

We haven’t seen our “friend” any more, but he is getting the last laugh. Apparently, he finally went for the poison, but chose to die behind the cabinets (or maybe under the washing machine?). Because now we can smell our late guest.

“How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24

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