In all the Girls' Camp hullabaloo, I forgot to write about the drama that happened around here. Two Saturdays ago, I came downstairs in the morning to see Braeden asleep on the couch on the main floor. Every light in the house was on and Braeden was fully clothed in the previous day's clothes.
When he woke up, he told me his sad and alarming tale.
We had a mouse.
Braeden had been watching TV in the basement the night before and he saw the mouse out of the corner of his eye. He spent the rest of the night driving himself crazy trying to see if there really was a mouse or if it was a figment of his imagination. He named the mouse Pat because he couldn't tell if it was a boy mouse or a girl mouse. He finally realized that Pat was real. He was armed with a broom and tried to smack it but Pat, in addition to being real, was illusive. Finally he gave up at 6:00 a.m. and collapsed on the upstairs couch.
It turns out we are all, from the biggest to the littlest around here, terrified of mice.
Give me snakes, all manner of bugs, spiders, lizards, teenage mutant ninja turtles, I don't care. I just don't want a mouse in my house.
Adam and I bought some traps, after consulting with my dad about the right kind of traps to buy. We set six traps and Pat stayed hidden for the next 24 hours. On Sunday at church, when I told my friends the sad and alarming tale, they said things like, "Well yeah, you live right by the mountain." Like we should expect mice.
Oh nay, nay, nay.
Since we were about to leave for Girls' Camp, I told Braeden that if he by chance caught Pat, he could just throw away the mouse trap. "Use a shovel," I told my squeamish boy who refuses to even squash a spider. I said if you catch six mice, go buy more traps.
Braeden said, "If I catch six mice, I'm moving in with Ammon until you get home."
Sunday evening, Emma went to the Dungeon which is the name we've given our storage room in the basement. She was after a sleeping bag for Girls' Camp. She came upstairs with an apprehensive face. "I think I just saw Pat."
We all hurried toward the basement but Adam stopped us at the top of the stairs. He wanted to go down and see if he could catch Pat. He didn't want the rest of us nervous giggling hooligans scaring Pat away. We waited at the top of the stairs like it was Christmas morning and I grabbed a nearby plastic Harry Potter wand because I wanted to be armed in case Pat attacked.
Adam called up the stairs, "I don't see him."
We all thundered down the stairs to see if we could see him. Emma peeked in the Dungeon. "Right there!" she said.
And sure enough. Pat. In one of the six traps. There is one more mouse angel in heaven. (Wait, tell me there aren't mice in heaven!)
Braeden went to his bedroom and shut the door.
Emma climbed up on the table.
Adam made Mark come and hold a garbage bag while he emptied the trap. "You've got to," Adam said, "You're a man."
I don't know why Braeden was excused from his manly duties or why it's a man's job to dispose of the mice but I was glad to be considered too dainty and feminine for the task. My skin was crawling at the very thought of it all.
If it hadn't been so horrible, it was terribly funny how freaked out we all were by a small little rodent. We're a hopeless bunch.
I took on the task of carrying the garbage bag outside to the trash can. You have to tag team in these trying times. I was fine, keeping the garbage bag well away from my body. When I walked outside, the light hit the bag and I could make out the outline of poor little Pat.
I may never recover.
Monday, while we were at camp, our pest control people (because apparently when you live by the mountain and are incredibly terrified of rodents, you need pest control people) came and sealed up a few possible entry points for mice.
We'd better not see any of Pat's friends.