After Max the pet rat died a few weeks ago, we purchased a new baby rat named Spike. All was well again in the DeCoster household until cold weather began setting in and the mice in the cornfield down the road mistook our once-a-year "open door policy" as pertaining to them instead of the in-laws.
My husband called me at work. "There’s a mouse under our son’s bed and Josh said there is no way he’s sleeping in his room until that mouse is out of there," he announced. I already pictured the scene in my mind. Tonight, my husband would be stretched out on one side of our bed, our son in the middle, and me on the side, with precisely one generous inch left to maneuver my body around for eight hours.
I sighed, "Find the traps and set them."
He whispered in the phone, "The children are crying."
"Why?" I asked.
"They said we can’t kill those tiny little mice because they have faces like Max and Spike," he hissed.
"Set the traps," I replied firmly. "I don’t care if those mice have faces like Cindy Crawford and bodies like Raquel Welch. I want them DEAD!"
I arrived at the door a few hours later and my husband pulled me aside and murmured in my ear. "I think the mouse is in Josh’s closet, so I set the trap in there."
"Perfect," I whispered back as I went into my bedroom to change my clothes.
My husband ran into Josh’s room and yelled, "WE GOT HIM! WE GOT HIM GOOOOOOOD!"
I ran in behind him and stifled the scream in my throat as I saw the mouse squirming in the trap, his head caught in the vice. "Don’t act so excited," I reprimanded him as I secretly gave him the thumbs-up sign.
My husband tried to hide the squirmy mouse behind his back as he walked through the living room, but the children saw. "WAAAAAAAAA!" they cried in horror. "Is the mouse DEAD?"
"Not quite yet," my husband answered, "But he will be in just a minute."
The children followed him out the door and I saw the shadow of my husband’s hand moving up and down as he repeatedly slammed the trap against the cement.
""WAAAAAAAAA!" they cried harder. "Daddy is killing the mouse!"
I pulled them into my arms and pushed their faces into my shoulder so they wouldn’t see the horror film currently playing out on our front porch. "Now we can’t love all the rodents in the world, can we?" I asked them.
"Of course we can, Mom!" they replied. "All mice and rats have cute faces!"
My husband returned in with an empty trap in his hands. I hugged the children. "We’ll have a funeral tomorrow," I said as I tried to comfort them.
My husband set the trap down on the kitchen floor and sat down to watch television.
Fifteen minutes later … SNAP!
I’m thinking of opening my own funeral parlor. At least then I could make money off of all these rodents.