PostHeaderIcon THE MOUSE


We were sitting in our two seater settee watching her favourite program on television. It was a good thing that I shared this with her. It gave us togetherness. We could discuss it later. My teenage daughter was studying TV production at university and liked to dissect a given program. I loved to contribute, and she seemed to value my opinion. But we also simply enjoyed this program which was a tad trite, but it took our minds off other troubling issues. Then the mouse appeared!
A little brown mouse, it scampered across the carpet and remained still, crouching there, as if afraid of attracting our attention. ‘I’ll have to set a trap,’ I said, thinking another job, but Katy’s reaction was different.
‘You can’t kill him Mum,’ she exclaimed, ’It’s his home too!’ But I was thinking of the flour and sugar and God knows what in the pantry from which I suspected the mouse had emerged. Any spoiled food must be thrown out. However I said nothing, but late that night, I set a trap and placed it outside the pantry. Sure enough, there was a carcass for me to dispose of the next morning. Early, in case she discovered my guilty secret.
Two nights later, it happened again. A little brown mouse scuttled across the carpet and disappeared under the door to the cupboard under the stairs. ‘Ooh,’ she cried rather gleefully, ‘It’s our friend again. Isn’t he cute, Mum? I’m so glad you didn’t kill him!’
I remained silent, but I thought another one! The flour is ruined for sure, and we can ill afford that right now. I had not long ago left the sanctity of the marital home and struck out on my own; an epic undertaking whichever way you looked at it. So another trap was set that night when the house was still. And another brown mouse was dispatched the next day.
When the third mouse appeared, it almost made me laugh, but that was impossible after all my deception. ‘It’s our little friend again,’ she would say when the fourth, fifth and sixth mouse made an entrance into our living room. I was aghast. I was almost out of cheese, but I had heard that mice like bread also, which I tried with no luck. So cheese it was again, and three more brown mice visited us. Nine in all went down the toilet. My lips were sealed, but I was glad when the visits ceased. For some time, Katy wondered where the mouse was. ‘Perhaps a cat got him,’ was all I could think of.
Ultimately, the pantry was cleaned out, the mouse hole discovered and sealed up, and new provisions obtained. And truth once more reigned between my daughter and me.