There’s a mouse about the house

mousehouse2

There was going to be super thoughtful post tonight about something really important, but then came the screaming. I was sitting at the kitchen table, looking through our bills, when it started. Arlo and Clementine were in the kitchen. I think Arlo, who is four years old, was the first to yell. They’d opened up the refrigerator, looking for something to ruin their appetites before dinner, when Arlo must have looked down and noticed the two black, beady eyes looking up at him, just a couple inches from his feet. He yelled and jumped back, setting in motion of series of incredibly loud events that, had I been a mouse caught in a grate at the base of a refrigerator, I think would surely have caused my tiny heart to explode. To our furry, little visitor’s credit, though, he handled the whole thing really well. As things were flying around the room amid the screams, the little guy just sat there, kind of half-heartedly waving at us with one of its free front feet, as if to calmly say, “Hello, could you give me a hand? My ass it apparently too big to make it out of here.”

After getting the kids out of the room by explaining that, if the mouse got loose, it might run up one of their pant legs, I got down on the floor and tried to assess the situation. I was impressed by the mouse, who I thought was handling itself pretty well. With the exception of a few squeaks, it seemed to be pretty cool about the situation, just kind of patiently waiting as I offered it different things to grab onto, in hopes that it might be able to pull itself through. And it tried valiantly every time I tried something new. When I offered something, it grabbed on and pulled. When I tried to make the opening a little wider by sliding a piece of wood in next to him and kind of twisting it, the little fella did his best to wiggle his hips and get through. When nothing worked, though, I stared taking the refrigerator apart, after deciding that it would be cruel to just leave it there until it had lost enough weight to get out on its own.

After turning a few screws, I had the grate off and I was carrying it outside, with the mouse still hanging there like the Harold Lloyd of the rodent world. It took some time, but I was ultimately able to get him free by pushing at him a bit, while, at the same, kind of cutting away at his fur, which had become pretty much glued to the grate by what I think must have been spilled maple syrup… When he fell to the ground and ran away, he seemed to be in pretty good shape. I’m hoping that’s the case. I want him to live a long, long time, telling every other mouse he comes into contact with about the chamber of horrors that is the Maynard-Lao household, with its maple syrup trap.

So somewhere out there in Ypsilanti tonight, is a mouse that owes me a favor. If I remember next spring, I’ll go outside sometime, start complaining about a thorn in my foot, and see if he comes through for me.

Oh, and we’re officially looking for a kitten, in case you happen to know of any.

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17 Comments

  1. stupid hick
    Posted October 3, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Do you know what a “rat king” is? Trigger warning next time, please.

  2. Posted October 3, 2016 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    That mouse has already returned to your home.

  3. Elliott
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Put him in a pot with some broth and a potato and baby you’ve got a stew going.

  4. Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Sadly, Mr. Hick, there was no “rat king” waiting for us when we got the grate off and looked beneath the fridge. I was half expecting to see another hundred little black eyes looking back at me, but there was nothing.

  5. Stewart Beal
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    You are a god damn American Hero Mark Maynard

  6. Eel
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    How embarrassing for the mouse. It’s like when Homer Simpson got stuck in the waterslide and it was all over the local news.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I got the reference, Elliott. Thank you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr2PlqXw03Y

  8. Anonymous
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Thank you also, Eel.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zCgAkAP1Ec

    And thank you, Youtube.

  9. Dan Blakeney
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Bravo!

  10. Lynne
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    It is fall! I saw a mouse in my house a couple of nights ago. I screamed and it ran. I haven’t seen it (or evidence of it) since then. My hope is that my neighbors amazing mouser of a cat has already taken care of things. If not, I have my traps set!

  11. Lynne
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I think it is funny that Mark is so kind. I kill the mice in my house and then throw their bodies outside so the other mice can know what happens to mice that venture into my house.

  12. Lisa
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Usually, for each mouse that you see, there are 5 more that you don’t. I suggest you have the kids begin spilling more maple syrup.

  13. Brad Koski
    Posted October 4, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    ‘Tis the season, apparently. Our cat caught one last night, which we let out. Came home from work this afternoon to find one that looks strikingly similar dead in our kitchen.

  14. Leisa Thompson
    Posted October 5, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    You have such a big heart. Great column.

  15. Josh Chamberlain
    Posted October 5, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    this reminds me of the time we caught a mouse on pearl street in a live trap. we took him to a cemetery to release him. we opened the live trap and out tumbled a tiny, peanut-butter covered snack of a mouse, who ran away as quickly as he could into the grass. we already had doubts about his survival but then an owl hooted from the trees above.

    we thought we were doing the right thing.

    the point is, the owl population around your house may grow if word travels that it is producing terrified sweet-mice

  16. Billy LaLonde
    Posted October 5, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    You’ve seen Tom and Jerry…keep the mouse, and fuck the cat. They’re assholes…

  17. Kristin
    Posted October 19, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I have a cat for you. Did Linette pass on the good news? She is GORGEOUS. The cat and Linette.

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