I found a mouse in the hot press on Monday morning. It was quite large and had obviously been lying there dead for a while. I had noticed a smell on the landing but couldn’t quite figure out what it was. I had a sneaking suspicion it could be a rodent gone bad but I hoped it wasn’t.
So there I was on Monday, rushing about making sure everyone was ready for school and work. Needing a towel I headed to the hot press and decided that I had to investigate further. As the bulb was gone I shouted for one of the troops to bring a torch. Darren arrived in a flash and asked what I was looking for.
Now, those of you who know Darren will know that he will do anything. No job is too big or small. However, mention furry little rodents and he turns to jelly, loses his sight and the power to move. As I was running late I hadn’t time for niceties so turned round and said ‘this’ holding the offending mouse out in front of me.
To say he turned white is a bit of an understatement. The kids as supportive as usual, dissolved into fits of giggles at their Dads reaction to a little dead mouse.
I haven’t always been so brave around furry rodents.
Growing up my Dad always looked after any mice that dared to enter the Byrne household. I remember Mammy Byrne moving out for a weekend while he purged the house of the furry lodgers.
I never gave mice a second thought when I moved to our little cottage in 1997. I was enthralled by the tiny white house. It was cosy and ours. I remember getting up on a few consecutive mornings and finding a substance that I can only describe as tiny grains of black rice on the sink in the bathroom. For the first few mornings I wiped them away without a second thought but on the third morning I began to wonder what they were and why they were reappearing!
I called Darren to inspect them and knew from his facial expression that it wasn’t good. Not having dealt with the little buggers before I was a little queasy and apprehensive.
Darren called his Dad. Jimmy arrived and mouse proofed the house and laid traps. Then the waiting began.
It didn’t take long before a cacophony of noise signalled the capture of mice. Darren whipped out his phone and asked his Dad to come and empty them. Yes, I kid you not. His fear was that that great. So began my career as chief mouse catcher!
I remember cleaning the house from top to bottom and sitting down to relax with a good book. I had an empty pringle tin nearby. After hearing a few traps go off I decided the best thing to do would be to pop the dead mice into the empty tin. Darren arrived in from work that evening and sat in the window.
‘Ah pringles’ says he reaching for the tin. ‘Ehh NO!!’ says I a little too late. He has never really forgiven me. It could have been the fact that I as supportive as the kids dissolved into a fit of giggles at his reaction. He has never managed to overcome his fear.
We managed to rid the house of mice and it’s been a while since we had a visit. I’ll be a little more vigilant in future.
Fear has a large shadow, but he himself is small. ~Ruth Gendler