Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Night Visitor

Christmas Eve, ten years ago. The Eldest was 16 and The Young One 12.

 A week or so  before Christmas I was downstairs playing on the computer. I don't remember where Himself was, perhaps he was teaching his night class. Suddenly, from the garage, there was a loud bang like one of the storage boxes falling to the floor. I was shaken, but did not stir. I do not venture into the garage where the spiders live.

When Himself came home I told him about the loud noise. Himself poked his nose in the garage as it is his domain. Nothing looked odd to him so he decided I must have heard a mouse. From time to time, I have heard mice scrabbling in a wall. It was not the same sound unless this was a giant mouse.

The next night, I'm sitting at the computer and Himself is watching television. Whump!

"That is not a mouse, unless, it's a giant mouse." I felt like Sylvester the cat trying to convince others about the giant mouse.

Himself agreed. The next morning he went to the hardware store and bought a trap. A humane trap like a cage. One way in, but not way out.  He baited the trap with some leftovers. When he checked the trap in the morning, the bait was gone, but no critter in the trap. This went on for a few more days until Christmas Eve late in the afternoon. A loud bang signaled the trap had been sprung.

Himself opened the door leading from the playroom to the garage.He called us all downstairs to see.

"Aw, he's cute," cooed the girlies.

Inside the trap, worse than a mouse was a giant, rat of  possum.

"Let's name him Chris!"

"We are not naming a rat, and we most certainly aren't going to keep it."

I called the town animal control only to be told they only take care of dogs or cats. I was told I would have to call the Department of Fish and Game. Fish and Game told me it was Christmas Eve, and they wouldn't be able to do anything until a day or two after Christmas.

"Listen. I have kids. The last thing I want for them to do is to come downstairs on Christmas morning to take a peek at the critter to find he chewed his paw off trying to get out." I might have sounded slightly hysterical.

"Okay. I'm not supposed to tell you this, but you can take it out and let it go.  You can't drive it out of the area, because it might have a disease, but you could let it go on your property."

And so began the big expedition. I got the flash light. Himself got a golf club to tap on the back of the trap in case Chris was too scared to budge. We got dressed in winter jackets, mittens, gloves, boots. In the dark of night with much muffled laughter, shushing, and stumbling knee deep in snow, Himself carried the cage to the corner of the woods at the back of our property where The Leaf Lady's property adjoined ours.

I was hoping we would be inconspicuous, but there was a lot of laughter, and flash light beams bouncing all over the woods. No back door lights from The Leaf Lady's house illuminated the darkness. No one screaming, "What the hell is going on?!"  A good sign. Himself opened the trap, and Chris, petrified with fright, wouldn't budge. A gentle rap on the back of the trap and Chris bounded out of the trap, across The Leaf Lady's back yard to the woods on the opposite side.

1 comment:

  1. Whew! That was a close one! I was afraid you were going to say Chris went straight into the Leaf Lady's garage! ;)