A mouse and midnight cackling


By Ryan Berry

Ryan’s World

It was a dark and stormy night. Not really, but there were some unsettling things going on the other night. Have you ever been awaken by a mysterious cackling?

Let me set the scene for you. I was sound asleep at two or three o’clock in the morning. It was dark as pitch in my bedroom, which is understandable because my eyes were closed and I was sound asleep (please put emphasis on the sound asleep part when you are reading this – maybe read it like SOUND ASLEEP).

The silence and my slumber were suddenly broken when the room was filled with laughter. This was not one of the laughs that start slowly and build. You know the kind – snicker, snicker, snort, hahaHAHA. This laugh started at HAHAHAHA and a few seconds later tailed off with Haaaaaaaaa. And then the room was silent again.

Being the bright and intelligent man that I am, and knowing my wife all too well, I knew without question what the laughter was about, but I was confused why it was taking place in the middle of the night. I chose not to say anything at that time and went back to sleep.

The next day my wife asked, “Did you hear me laughing in the middle of the night?” I did not respond with, “Yes, I heard you. The entire neighborhood heard you. Your cackling was as loud as thunder.” I did not say that because I like being married. Instead I said, “Yes.”

Her next question was, “Do you know what I was laughing about?” I did not respond with, “Because you are going madly insane and need to be locked away in a padded room so society is safe from you.” I did not say that because I like being married. Instead I said, “Yes. The video”

The video! Every now and then we get out the old home movies. At the behest of my youngest daughter we did that earlier in the week. There was one brief segment that caught my wife’s eye and she has been laughing about it ever since.

In the video we were at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, which is not to be confused with the Boonshoft School of Medicine. Imagine my confusion and shock the first time I heard someone was donating their body to Boonshoft and I didn’t know there was a School of Medicine involved. I could picture the horror when they put the body in the archaeological pit and had the kids use the brushes to uncover the treasure that waits.

I digressed a little there.

My youngest daughter was probably around four-years-old at the time and was playing in one of the rooms. Out of my nowhere, my wife calmly said, “Look at the baby mouse over there.” My wife was referring to a baby mouse in a cage. My youngest daughter only heard, “MOUSE!” She took a look in one direction, dropped what she had in her hand and ran in the opposite direction. A look of terror swept across her face.

That one little scene has kept my wife amused for days (and nights). The creepy middle of the night laughter came two days after watching that video. My wife admits that she was asleep and her laughter woke her up.

The weird thing is that none of us remember that scene; probably because it was overshadowed by another event that day that led us to the emergency room at Children’s Hospital.

My youngest daughter was playing on some steps and she fell off and was knocked out, cold! My wife scooped her up in her arms and began running through Boonshoft yelling, “My baby, my baby! Somebody help my baby.” It wasn’t funny at the time, but after we took our little baby girl to the hospital and found out she was okay it has been what we remember the most from that trip.

We don’t know what caused her to stumble and fall off the steps, but after seeing this video – maybe she saw a mouse.

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