Emma ran ahead of me. I yelled just before she put her foot down. There beneath her foot was a newly departed mouse. A large one at that. “Gross. That was just gross, Meme. That was really gross.” Well, yes, it was gross, and for a woman who hates rodents, I did well in not grabbing the child and running for cover.
I am reminded that on the farm at this time of year mice sought refuge in our basement. My sisters had seen them in the upstairs where we slept, but I had not. Had I seen them, I would have moved in with Brenda. Mice. My sworn enemies.
We are caught in a dilemma at present. Several hummingbird feeders hang on our deck and our trio of tinies come and visit regularly, eating when they are not chasing one another. Our house is surrounded by trees, so feeding the other birds would be a delight. We believe in equality. However, with birdseed comes those critters with long, creepy tails. Thus continue to seek a way to draw birds, yet repel rodents.
There are so many rhymes about mice running up clocks, three that were blind, movies about rats that cook and mice who reside in Disneyland. Seems to me that there is a fascination (that I do not share) with these sneaky, wicked little creatures. I know, love the creatures great and small. Well, not this girl. I say where’s the trap and the cheese?!
I was visiting my niece’s preschool class when one of the little darlings came over with the class rat. Now I find it hard to put class and rat in the same sentence; however, being a grandma, I knew the rule that you suck it up and do not scare the children. I smiled. Would I like to pet it? Well, not really. Would I like to hold it!!!! Well, there is a point where a grandma must just stand up and say, “Oh, honey, I think someone is calling me.” Yes, lying is permissible when it comes to protecting children, er, grandmas.
Truly I must admit that I do occasionally scream when I see a mouse. Can’t help it. The shout just pours out like a siren going to a fire. My toes curl, my body tenses, and I am absolutely sure that the little mouse will run up my leg and bite my face off. I blame it on my sister Peg. I remember when I was little and she often stood up on a chair screaming. I used to think she was practicing singing then once I saw a mouse. So, I, too, took on her persona as to the meeting of a little nasty piece of work. However, I do believe that if a mouse can climb up on shelves and up stairs, it surely can climb up on the chair with the screaming girl.
I bet you thought this was going to be a Christmas story. Sorry. I’m still struggling with the mouse Emma about stepped on. Gross.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.