" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

April 14, 2009

Where the Livin Ain't that Easy Afterall

I barely slept a wink last night.

I was holding my breath wondering when I might feel the little busy feet of Mr. Topogigio tickle across me in bed and having a vivid imagination I began to think of Mr. T. burrowing down into the bed trying to get as close to my warm body as possible.

I began to think of Richard Gere. Oh, just a sec, no, that was gerbils. And, I'm sure that was never true. Urban Myth.

I was laying there as if I had a rifle beside me waiting to be taken hostage at any moment. You'd think I was on safari in Darfur.

At no time did it occur to me that moving to the country could actually be bad for one's blood pressure.

In preparation for the ultimate rodent takedown, I downsized the mousetraps. I figured out the one I'd purchased the day before was meant for rats and gophers, not mice. So, I got the ones for mice. Two of them. Where's the ones for racoons, arrogent men and small children I think to myself.

Sure enough when I woke up this morning and walked into the kitchen the poor little thing was lying there, head crunched inside The Better Mouse Trap, silver tail curved slightly, gleaming a little under the kitchen lights with its prickly mouse feet clenched in surprise.

I gingerly walked over and peered down. I debated calling Pauline. What do I do now? Where should I throw it? If I throw it outside close to the house will I have a whole bunch of other mice heading like lemmings for my cottage as if they are launching a coup on the evil dictator? Will they overthrow me?

This is not how I want to start my day. This is not how any civilized person should start their day; staring down at the prey they killed the night before not unless they're a contestant on SURVIVOR. If I was in the city, I'd be at a Tim Horton's drivethrough! (THIS IS A JOKE!)

But, you gotta do what you gotta do so I got dressed. I put on my pink rubber gloves. I picked up the trap with the little petrified mouse body hanging out. I walked 50 paces into the woods behind my place, opened the trap and it dropped with a little crisp sound on a leaf behind a tree trunk. Poor thing. I covered it over with a piece of tree bark and said "So Help Me God" under my breath. I walked back and decided that eating breakfast at home under such traumatizing circumstances was simply out of the question.

I swear to you that between the Daddy Long Leg spiders hanging above my head in the room that doubles as my dressing room/clothes closet, the mice, the racoons, the vigilence required to miss ever-wandering twitless deer in the path of my vehicle, the possibility of having the one mythical cougar on the island stalk me when I take hikes alone, the big Dobermans and other scary dogs in Duck Creek sans leashes, and the ever worrying thought that the wood stove may burn the place down, I'm pretty sure my blood pressure is through the rat-infested roof.

I'm not sure I've ever been as uptight as I am now and lets face it I'm always pretty damned uptight. I'm starting to twitch and flinch in ways that may begin to make strangers think I'm in the early stages of Parkinsons Disease.

Tonight, I had dinner at Paulines. I was telling her my stories. After dinner, relaxing on the couch, I'm looking out on her deck and what do I see? I see yet another rodent. That's a pretty big mouse I think. I jump up. "What's THAT?" I yell. Oh MY GOD is that a RAT? I scream out! EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

She thinks I'm kidding. She thinks I'm just foolin' around after all the mice talk. But she comes running, can't believe her eyes and races outside to scare it away. "Norway Rat. Roof Rats," she says. "Damn Thing. It's after the bird seed. I must have spilled some of the humming bird feeder liquid. Brazen thing."
Why isn't it on the roof then? Why is it on the deck?

"OH MY GOD, they're everywhere," I say. And just as I'm about to go inside, I hear this incredible whirring right above my head as a humming bird dive bombs me and I jump and duck and scare myself as Pauline laughs at my wimpy citified nervous system.

When it's time to leave, I give her a hug goodbye and all she says is RUN! RUN to the Car! Don't look back! A big smile crosses her face as she just shakes her head at me.

I'm about to go to bed now. I've set the traps again. The sound of crickets and frogs provides the appropriate background music for the murder mystery that's about to unfold yet again.

Stay tuned! Oh, and sweet dreams...

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