Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Mouse That Wasn't


I know the sound of a scurrying mouse. I've listened to them run in the walls of the family farm house, and I used to watch one come out at night and steal food, while living in my one room New York apartment. It's winter time in Kansas, and we live in an old house, built in 1890. There are plenty of tiny crevices that a mouse could pancake himself into, searching for a little warmth. Luckily, we haven't had any mice (hobo squirrels is a story for another day), until last week.

"What's that noise? Do you hear it?"

"No."

"It sounds like a mouse. In the entertainment center."

James stood listening, hearing the faint scuttling of something moving around inside one of the drawers. He jumped up on the couch. We both listened.

"How did it even get in there?"

"Walked. It probably walked."

"Bobo, are you just going to sit there?" Bobo the cat sat on the couch, completely uninterested.

"Let me get some tools," James said, heading towards the laundry room.

He quickly returned with a broom, a cardboard box, a flashlight, and some Chex Mix. He leaned over and barely opened the drawer, shining the flashlight into the dark space.

"I think I see something!" I screamed. He slammed the drawer shut.

We regrouped and tried again, slowly opening the drawer. We could both hear the noise, but couldn't see anything.

"He must be behind the drawer."

At this point I was ready to just let him live there so that I could get back to my episode of Strange Addictions.

"You know the noise almost sounds mechanical. It's repetitive."

James used the broom to reach into the drawer and poke the DVD player. Then he summoned up his courage and stuck his hand into the drawer and turned the DVD player off. The noise stopped.

The natives congratulated themselves on their bravery and power of deduction. Chex Mix was consumed.

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