This Is War
by Teresa Lee Rainey
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(Please note: Those opposed to torturing precious little rodents should stop reading now.)
When hubby and I moved back home, we were really excited to find a house that had the conveniences of being near town, yet still more country in setting. We got a steal on this really nice brick home with over an acre, in a prominent (for this small town) subdivision. We're only a couple of miles out of town, there's a cow pasture behind us, and a huge farm across the road.
Before moving in, my mother-in-law and I spent days cleaning every room from top to bottom. Removing the filth left by previous owners was a small price to pay for our bargain. We should have picked up on clues hinting of future confrontations as we found abundant mice droppings. Instead, we were confident our cleanliness would keep those precious, little pests to a minimum.
HA! Were we ever naive!!
Our first hint of invasion came a few mornings ago when the temperature had dropped to chilly. Hubby went into the bathroom and caught a glimpse of something tiny scurrying for cover.
The battle began.
Hubby's first stop that morning was the local Wal-Mart for glue traps. I sincerely apologize for all the animal lovers who see this as inhumane, but Hubby wanted to see that he had caught his enemy and enjoyed the idea of hearing it struggle. Never mind the possibility that this poor, helpless, little unsuspecting creature might be caught on my watch!
That night, with eight traps set strategically along the hallway, into our bedroom, through our closet hall, and in front of our bathroom door, he waited. To his disappointment, there were no enemies caught by morning. I would have to weave through traps all day and pray for no captures until reinforcements could be picked up from school. Surely two teenage boys would gladly take charge of this mission.
Hubby was again disappointed upon his return to the battlefield. The enemy still had not been captured. Traps were moved to closets upon my request, in hopes that the enemy had abandoned the battlefield.
That night was family movie night and our troops were at ease.
Apparently, the little mouse was unaware of our positions when he decided to attempt a run from the bedroom area.
Our youngest soldier spotted the enemy and jumped to attention. That is, if you can call attention screaming "MOUSE" and jumping on top of the couch in terror. The poor little creature did an instant about face and retreated.
Before we could return to the movie, traps were repositioned. I thought the little guy would certainly not re-attempt his failed mission, but Hubby disagreed. By morning, the enemy had been caught by the one trap which proved Sergeant Hubby right.
Sad for the poor little creature, but relieved the battle was over, I went to make coffee. I happened to glance toward the back door where a garbage bag had been tossed, waiting for take-out. The bag was wiggling! I watched in amazement as a healthy little mouse jumped out. I screamed in terror as he ran toward me. I was relieved when he ran behind the fridge.
Of course, Sergeant Hubby was quick to gather the troops and lay siege. Traps were again repositioned. By lunch, Sergeant Hubby was disposing of his second capture.
Last night, I noticed Hubby gathering the remaining traps and positioning them in the office. "There's another one in here," he said in a whisper, "I heard him near the closet."
"That poor, little guy doesn't have a chance," I thought while watching the Sergeant in action.
My thoughts were confirmed when I entered the office after all troop members had abandoned me this morning. My desperate phone call to Sergeant Hubby was met with loving patience. He came to my rescue, proudly removed his third capture, and placed several new packages of ammunition on the counter.
Confident that all was clear in our office/battlefield, I sat at the desk to take care of business. Five minutes into my work, something caught my attention. I looked down to the edge of my desk and saw a very brave, pretentious little creature looking back at me!
Knowing the Sergeant would not be so enduring to instantly return to the battlefield, I panicked. These little creatures were not so precious anymore! After a few deep breaths, far away from the office, I began to form my own battle plan.
At this very moment, I have again taken position at my desk. I have placed a call to the only officer available. I can always depend on Jesus Christ, my Commander-in Chief!
There are traps surrounding the desk, blocking the doorway, and strategically positioned around my feet. I am no longer concerned for my enemy.
This is war.
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This is a fascinating and funny glimpse into normal family life! I like the healthy distance laughing at oneself and the world brings.