I recently got home from Massachusetts after spending a month in my hometown. Since I was between jobs when my parents were going on a three-week cruise, I found myself house-sitting and dog-sitting. It’s nothing to complain about: spending a month writing and playing with dogs and hanging with friends.
There was just one hiccup. A f#%@ing mouse named Orville.
Let me backup a bit.
My parents’ house sits between suburbia and wooded wetlands, settled deep enough among trees that you can pretend to be off in the wilderness when the trees are full of leaves in summer. Privacy is great. But the wildlife that lives in the wetlands don’t think twice about encroaching into our space, though Sampson and Grace do a pretty good job of keeping them away.
Well, except for Orville. He arrived a couple days before I returned to Massachusetts.
Orville scurried into the garage for some mousey reason or another, probably following his nose to the crumbs of dog food. He met up with his buddy, Mercury, before descending the stairs to the first floor.
Mercury: Dude, there are f#%@ing dogs in here.
Orville: Shit, you’re right! Big ones.
Mercury: Hurry up and get the food.
Orville: Okay, I’m hurryin’.
Mercury: F#%@! Dog!
Grace: What’re youuu?
Grace happened to be downstairs at the time with Mom when she saw Mercury and Orville. Her muscles went all stiff in stillness yet flexed in a fluid motion when she moved. Her eyes sighted-in on Orville and Mercury with laser focus.
Mercury & Orville: F#%@!
Grace: I’m gonna hunt you.
At that point, Mom shouted for Dad, and he managed to toss a towel of Mercury and catch him. Mercury cursed the whole time as Dad carried him out to the backyard. Orville took the opportunity to bury himself into a shadowy corner, and there he stayed while Dad put out mouse traps.
Days went by. Dad checked the traps. Orville bypassed the tempting smell of bait in favor of the crumbs that collect in the corners of rugs no matter how many times they’re vacuumed.
Then the night before Mom and Dad had to be up and ready for their ride to the airport at 5 AM, Orville decided to make a break for it. But he didn’t do the logical thing, oh no. He didn’t run for the back door when Mom or Dad left it open for a few minutes. He ran the f#%@ upstairs.
To be continued…