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Wild Mouse Chase

Wild Mouse Chase

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Published by Ellen Channing
Hysteria sets in when a wife suspects a possible uninvited house guest. The hunt begins!
Hysteria sets in when a wife suspects a possible uninvited house guest. The hunt begins!

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Published by: Ellen Channing on Jul 20, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Wild Mouse Chase

By Ellen Channing It was a quiet spring night in the suburbs. The usual din of children playing in the street subsided into the rhythmic murmur of crickets as families settled down to dinner. A man and his wife lounged the couch, catching up on their favorite television series recorded by TiVo. Engrossed by the exploits of the series’ action hero, they sat side by side, sinking into the plush couch. Suddenly, the wife sat up straight, and her eyes shot to the ceiling. “What is it?” her husband asked, distracted. “Shhh!” she scolded, snatching the remote to pause the series in demand for total silence. “Did you hear that?” she asked. The couple sit in tense silence, anticipating any movement, any sound. Confused, the husband breaks the silence after a few short minutes. “What was it?” he repeated. Ignoring his comment, the wife finally admitted; “I think there is a mouse in our house.” “How could that be?” the husband replied, doubting her conclusion. “I didn’t hear anything.” “The worker men must have let it in,” said the wife. “Will you set some traps tomorrow?” “Of course,” the husband replied, still doubtful. He started the television again, and they returned to their program. Every few moments for the remainder of the night, the wife paused, and listened carefully for the sound of scurrying feet.

The next morning, the husband awoke to find his wife calmly sipping her orange juice at the breakfast table, making a list of things she must accomplish that day. There were several mouse traps resting at his place setting where his oatmeal bowl normally stood. “I want you to get those set up this morning,” the wife said, nodding to the traps.

“Can’t it wait until tonight?” the husband asked. He liked his mornings in their normal order: coffee, oatmeal, and a newspaper to read. “Get them set up before that mouse starts making a nest and having babies in our house!” the wife cried out. Unwilling to point out that it requires more than one mouse for a family to appear, the husband dutifully laid the traps in the garage and the attic.

The wife checked the traps twice a day: once in the morning, and once before locking up the house at night. From time to time she stopped what she was doing and listened to confirm that she really did hear scuttling paws. After two days, her husband asked: “How do you think the mouse got in again?” There was no sign of the mouse in the traps, and he was beginning to doubt that this rodent visitor ever existed. “I think the builders or the tile guy let it in. They were always leaving the door open,” she said with finality in her voice. The next day the husband found his wife on the phone, questioning the contractors about their building materials and their recent pest inspections. He also noticed that his email inbox was frequently filled and re-filled with various articles and websites citing the tendency of mice to hide in construction supplies. Still, morning or night, there was no sign of the mouse in the traps. The bait remained undisturbed, even by ants.

After a week of waiting, watching, and listening, nothing appeared in the traps. One night after dinner, the husband heard his wife yelp from the garage. He raced to meet her in the hallway. She stood there, calling for him and pointing to one of the traps. There was a small brown mouse, caught by the tail, in the trap closest to the garage door.

“I told you so!” the wife proclaimed triumphantly. “It must have been too quick for these old traps this whole time. Look! It is barely caught by its tail. Can you get rid of it now?” The wife walked back inside the house, and settled on the plush couch to catch up on her TiVo recorded Oprahs. She was satisfied. She was right.

The husband grabbed a plastic bucket and swept the mouse inside. He tossed it up onto the hill behind their house for the coyotes to enjoy. Next, he went into his office and removed the pet store receipt for one brown mouse from his wallet. He shredded the receipt quickly, and buried the scraps under the large pile of paper in the wastebasket. “She’ll never know,” he thought, pleased that this wild mouse chase was over.

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Other Titles by Ellen Channing: Carmageddon Fifteen Minutes …For Art’s Sake Library Help Desk: A Superhero’s Tale Portable Offices Wild Mouse Chase

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