the mouse.


there's a dead mouse in the trash can.
he came into my house last night -
i actually saw him come in -
he came up the stairs, through my open door, and when he saw me, he scampered down the hall into my studio -
my studio!
all my records are in there! and cables going to and from my computer!
he would eat them, gnaw on them, and i may not know it until months from now.
i could not let this be.
i had to find him,
evict him.
but then, he might come back - for he would know the delicacies of my abode
my food
my trash
my records
my cables
i had to...
smoosh him...
but how?
with what?
it was late - maybe 2 or 3am
i had already gone to bed, but was up - i had to get a drink - it was hot – sticky

maybe he was just trying to find a place to cool off...
what was his intent?
where did he come from?
was he someone's pet?
what if I killed him and someone came by the next day asking if i'd seen a cute little mouse?
...named "sal" or "brigham" or "stanley"

i couldn't think of that now - he could be pooping, or spreading his horrible mouse disease - the one they talk of on cnn.
i went after him with my trusty flashlight - the big mag that takes "d" batteries. black and daunting, this was a trusty weapon i keep behind my television in case of intruders.
i was counting on its brightness to reveal the hideout of my new unwanted guest.
i looked for him under the couch, behind my records, between the curtain and the window.
as i quietly stalked, i would listen - there would be a scamper and i would try to catch him.
after about two only semi close attempts, i realized he had better equipment to elude me than i to catch him.
i made walls - with pieces of wood i have in my storage room.

i went back to bed - but not to sleep - i would relax and listen.
was he pooping?
was he chewing on my cables?
i could not sleep until i was rid of this pest.
i knew i was smarter than he - maybe i could make a trap - a shoebox? a wrapping paper tube?

he was in my bedroom now - he had gotten over my short walls.
his little noises would tell me where he was - under my desk, under my bed.
 - 'boing' - (an e - string) he had climbed onto my guitar...
light on -
i chase -
he goes over two walls - one out of my bedroom, and one down the hall...
i go back to bed - lights off

later - noise in the kitchen
i get up - i rebuild the wall to the kitchen - with duct tape - i angle a piece of smooth particle board so his claws cannot grab.
it works - i now have him stuck in the kitchen - no way out.
back to bed - i hear noise - i get up - i go slowly, quietly to the kitchen - with a fly swatter and my flashlight.

i'd already found poop - and pee in a few places - yuck!

there he is - up on the christmas light cord in the dark - his eyes met mine. he was about 5 feet off the ground
what was he thinking? - maybe he was just trying to get out...
i had gone back to bed and gotten up twice before finally finding his safe hideout behind the fridge - i had to pull the fridge out from the wall because he was actually inside the mechanism on the back of the fridge.

my tools are my flashlight, a fly swatter, a golf club and a plastic dust pan. i'm just using the golf club and the dust pan now - maybe i can trap him in a paper grocery bag?...

i prod at his position with the 8 iron - he jumps and runs up over the big woofer under the table - an easy target with the golf club - he runs to the corner behind the plant - back and forth under the bike - he is running out of options - i growl - arhh - i swat at him with the dust pan - pow, pow! - he drops still - one eye looking right at me - pow! pow!! - i quickly scoop him up with the dust pan and put him in the paper grocery bag. i roll up the top to trap him inside - i think he's still alive - i am aghast and trembling - i've won, and yet it's not over. i take him outside - the bag in one hand, the golf club in the other - i'll need to finish him - i don't want him to suffer - he is one of god's creatures...

i head towards the dumpster - it's about 5am now...

how crazy would it be for someone to peek out their window and see me - in my boxers and flip flops - clubbing a brown paper bag with a golf club??

there is an entranceway to the laundry room where no one would see -
i put the mouse, in the bag, on the hard cement just outside the laundry.
smack, smack - smack!!
i'm not sure if i'm hitting him...
there is other, plastic, grocery bags inside with him
i open the bag - looks like i got him, but to be extra sure, i club the bag a few more times
i had to exponge the possibility of him coming back to life and getting his revenge!

i throw the bag into the dumpster.

i can't help but feel that somehow i've cheated - my integrity weakened - my faith in love questioned.
should i have buried him?

couldn't i have just chased him out the door?
there were a couple of times where he was trying to get out a window - what if i had just taken off the screen?
what if - what if, what if?

so, that mouse changed me a bit
that dead mouse.
the one in the trash can.

-David Whitcraft
july, 2005