Monday, October 15, 2007


There is a mouse in the house.

I am not afraid of mice. I am not. I do, however, have a freakish instinctual reaction to a mouse running amok in my presence. I do the Screaming Mouse Dance.

It is an embarrassing display. I am not by nature a screamer, or even a squealer for that matter. I mean, I've been known to laugh a little too loud, but for the most part I'm fairly reserved. Shy. Quiet. But let a mouse zip by, and I'm suddenly a bobby-socks wearing teenage girl in the presence of Elvis. SHRRREEIK!!!!

That's the history.

So last week as I was typing away in my dark little computer room, Mr. Mouse poked out from under my file cabinet and said hey. Oh, Lord you scared me, I said. Please don't run, I begged, because Bill and the dogs are sound asleep and they won't be if you run. And Mr. Mouse, being a polite fellow, flicked his whiskers a bit in a dignified, sure-whatever-you-say kind of way, and ducked back under the file cabinet. I decided the story I was working on could wait (still haven't finished it) and went immediately to bed.

Mr. Mouse said hi a few more times during the course of the week, in a delightfully stationary fashion, and we became friends. We used to get lots of field mice coming to visit this time of year when the nights got chilly, back at the farm. But though I had expected to see many, this was the very first mouse encounter since moving to this old house in Paducah five years ago. Some old houses in the neighborhood are being rehabbed, and perhaps Mr. Mouse has had to find new digs.

Then, on Thursday night, a friend stopped by. The dogs and I were upstairs. The dogs heard the knocking before I did, and the stampede down the stairs was on. I must grab Very Old Dog's collar as he goes down, as his legs don't always carry out the instructions from his brain, and our stairs are steep and twisting. I looked down to get the right collar. (Oh, yes, I've done that - Very Old Dog is left to his own reduced devices while I mistakenly have a death grip on the perfectly capable but similarly marked Mama Pajama's collar.) Something on the steps caught my eye.

It was Mr. Mouse.

Now. I have nine whippets. Sighthounds. Bred for centuries to chase small furry things, depending on their keen vision to detect moving critters and run them down. And all nine whippets crashed down the stairs, barking their greetings to our visitor, stepping on, over, and next to Mr. Mouse.

And, Mr. Mouse was most definitely not stationary any more.

He was leaping madly to try to get up the stairs, but they were too tall. And now there was bedlam. My voice, aided and abetted by my lungs and mouth, but totally bypassing my brain, started the Moving Mouse Scream.


The poor guest who was knocking on my door was entertaining the possibilty that I had fallen and broken my leg. It's that kind of scream. I managed to open the door between outbursts, or during them, I should say.

"There's a mouse and a squirrel in your house?" My bemused guest was understandably confused.

And then of all the hunters in the house, it was little Lindy Loo, the baby of the family, who finally saw Mr. Mouse. That set off a whole new fit of screaming from the idiot which had taken over my body. "Get it Lindy! Oh no, don't get it. AAAAAAAA! Look! Help her!" But the dogs, having infinitely better manners than their Servant, were welcoming our bewildered friend, who was standing in the foyer wondering what emergency service she should call to come get me. And poor Mr. Mouse was leaping up a step, only to fall down two, and then he would remember that I preferred my mice to be immobile, and he would hunker down and not move a whisker. When he did this, Lindy Loo would lose him, even if she were standing on his tail.
Finally, Fat Charlie saw our little rodent friend. Uh-oh. This was not good news for Mr. Mouse's loved ones. Now I changed my mind. "No, Fat Charlie! Leave it... Ohhh AAAAAAAAA! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Oh NOOO! Oh.. OHHHHH. LOOK OUT HERE IT COMES! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

Lindy Loo, Fat Charlie, Luciano, Mama Pajama, Mr. Mouse and I all tumbled down the stairs, and I was in Full Shreiking Mouse Alarm. I imaging people heard me three towns away and headed into their basements, mistaking me for the tornado siren.
Thank goodness, I provided ample distraction for Mr. Mouse who ducked into the coat closet. I immediately returned to my unpossessed self, turned to my guest, and said, "Hi! Shall we go out for a bite to eat? Lovely evening isn't it? How have you been?"

You can't blame me for being fond of Mr. Mouse:

Lindy Loo and Swede William

He looks like family!


  1. Too funny!

    We had a...dare I say it...RAT in our house once. Jack saw it first under the dishwasher. I didn't know what he was on about so I went to have a peak and saw a FURRY PINK TWITCHING NOSE only inches from my face...I still get shivers just thinking about it. I was screaming and standing on the kitchen island in a matter of seconds. "Get it Jack! No, wait! Don't get it Jack!" Mr. Jack kept watch in the kitchen all week until we were able to catch it. Our neighbors said that they'd been having problems too. We figure it's all the old houses and new construction going on.

  2. Hi guys! Thanks for coming by my blog. We have had a mouse in the house (and my sissy is part sight hound, too--no interest!) And once we had RATS! And we had glue traps but the only thing they ever caught was ME! Not funny!


    ps.NINE ogs? My ma ape is jealous.

  3. The same thing happens at our house! If a mouse crosses mom's path she gives a small catscream and we're on the move to find it! It's great fun!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  4. Nope, your dogs are cuter than the mouse! but if you ever need help, just call me...I'm a terrier

  5. Gus, buddy we sure could have used your help! Maggie and Mitch too, and Wally, you could have showed us where to put the traps.
    Mel, I do NOT enjoy rats. Haven't seen any here YET...

    Thanks for stopping in and taking some time to say hey!


  6. I should be in bed sleeping but instead I am here crying laughing at the funniest darn mouse story I have ever read.

    Thank you for this! Now I can go to sleep happy. :-)

    Jamie 'Cowbelly'

  7. Heard you three towns away - I heard you in the U.K! I thought you were being raped!!!

    I have laughed so much you have done my face the world of good. I can only think of my reaction when I see a spider (especially if it moves) to relate to the sounds resonating around the house.

    Here's hoping you don't see any more......

  8. This is the funniest story! It took me forever to read it because I was laughing too hard to see!

  9. Oh you all make my heart sing! I LOVE to make people laugh. (And, be warned, I love to make people cry too, but in a loving, from the heart, good for your soul kind of way.)
    Thank you for your generous comments, and for taking time out of your busy lives to visit.
    thank you thank you thank you!


  10. Hi,

    Thanks for coming over to my place - I'm so glad you did, or I might not have found your blog. This post had me crying laughing... Brilliant!

    What a fantastic pack of dogs too....

    G, P & T xxx

  11. HEHEHE! Oh this was a good read, just downright hilarious. If I had been the guest, I would have been rolling on the floor, literally, laughing to tears. I'm not silly about mice (I used to have pet rats, and when I was really little we had mice in the house all the time), but if a bee or anything that flies and is the same size, comes near me, I freak out in the same manner. Outside. Usually with my 2 yr old son in his stroller. Oh my gosh. Oh, I also can reach some pretty high notes if a moth or june bug gets in the house. I usually end up hiding in the bathroom. Silly bugs. Makes my husband think I'm a loon whenever it happens!

  12. Hey Peee,

    Tell us ho you really feel about that mouse!! Eeeeeeeeek


  13. Oh, WE had a mouse once too! I completely ignored it and wouldn't even look at it. My girl was very annoyed at me and kept saying something about how I'll bark for hours at a cardboard box in the yard but utterly ignore a rodent invasion... whatever that means. :-)

  14. Hi Patience! My servant has been reading your blog but this time, she is laughing so hard and wiping her eyes, I decided that I'd better respond.

    We had a house mouse a couple of
    winters ago. Though not afraid of mice, she decided I should do my Whippet duty and take care of the little creature. She had heard great stories of Nell and Tonka of Wild Aspen and how they regularly took care of field mice that had strayed inside their servant's home. "Sighthounds are prey driven" she was reminded.

    Well, she didn't know that I am only cat and squirrel-driven. Mice? What are mice? (They do look a bit like family, I agree.) Well, she finally had to resort to a trap along the baseboard, while trying to keep me out of the peanut butter bait. Now, squrrels are another matter and I helped loosen her tense shoulder muscles yesterday while on our walk. She said she has sympathy for you with your posse and the shoulder massages you get. I wonder what she meant?
    Star the Wonder Dog (in WA)

  15. I am still thinking about this post and coming back to it when I need another good laugh. It's a classic!

  16. Motionless mice are not a problem for me either. But let one of those little suckers zip my me, or run near my foot, and I have to EEEEK! I feel pretty dumb, because it sounds just like that too, it makes me feel so stereotypical.

    If I feel feel a bit of spiderweb on me, and I have very special and interesting Spider Dance, as I leap around, beat at my clothing, and shake out imaginary black widow spiders. The dance is free of sound effects, but pretty startling to anyone nearby, because it looks like I've suddenly just lost it.

    Those mice, as soon as it gets cooler out, they want to come inside and get comfortable. I hope your little visitor disappears soon.

    Marcia W

  17. When Holly was very near her last months, she would come into my computer room in the evenings and look imploringly at me. She and I would then head downstairs to the treat closet (which is also the laundry and general storage closet) and I would go through a pile of different treats - none of which she wanted. She would stand there, staring up at the closet and both of us would be frustrated.

    A month or so after we lost her, Darren went to get some granola bars from the closet. And discovered that a mouse had chewed away the corner of the box and helped himself. And that was what Holly was wanting. I apologised to her posthumously.

  18. Patience,since finding your blog I find myself making time to visit and try to read at least one of your stories before getting on with my busy schedule.
    My life has been filled with drama the past couple of weeks and my nerves were about shot,UNTIL I read this mouse story. I laughed sooooo hard and it helped to take alot of the tension away.
    Thank you for your stories and I really am enjoying visiting and reading =)

  19. Soooooo funny! Poor u tho! We had a few rats in our shed recently. That doesn't seem too bad, but our shed is ATTACHED to the house and im sure thered be a hole from one to the other somewhere!! I didn't sleep for days!!!!! Im alright 'bout mice tho.



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