I am PETRIFIED of mice. I’m sure it stems from my childhood, when we lived for a while in a house that was overrun with them. I know it is an irrational fear, proven each time I see one of the tiny things dead in a trap. But when they are alive and moving, they grow before my eyes into giant mutations. Fortunately for me, God was my co-pilot as I drove to work one fall morning . . .
As I sped along the expressway, something kept catching my eye causes me to glance at the passenger seat, where my purse lay. I thought it was morning cobwebs messing with my mind, until I caught sight of a mouse as it jumped up on the seat, scurried over to and up the door panel to scratch at the window. “Eek, it’s a mouse!” is far too demure for my reaction. Suffice it to say that the mouse, terrified by the shriek that filled the car, did a 360 and scampered back to the floor.
It was only by the grace of God that I made it across the highway lanes to the left-shoulder of the road. I don’t remember looking for traffic, hitting the brake, putting the car in park . . . all I could do was stare in horror and screech in terror as the mouse scampered back and forth in its own desperate frenzy to escape. If only my trembling fingers could have pressed the right button to lower the window and send it diving!
My eyes remained locked on the mouse, which grew bigger by the second. I was sure it was going to leap for my throat and viciously attack me! I fought frantically with my seat belt in a blind effort to release it; then scrambled from the car like a woman possessed. Looking back, I can’t imagine what those driving by must have thought.
Once out, I was doubled over, nauseous and trembling with fear when a guy came rushing to my side. “What’s the matter?” he asked, his brows furrowed with concern.
All that came out of my mouth was gibberish as I pointed a trembling finger toward the car.
“Is there something in your car?”
I nodded vigorously, still shaking and gasping for breath.
“Do you know what it is?” he asked, looking from me to the vehicle and back again.
My head bobbed soundlessly.
He waited as I inhaled another jagged breath. “Well . . . what on earth is it??”
It was several seconds before I could finally squeak out, “Mouse.” About that time another man approached and asked in a booming voice, “What’s going on here?”
The first guy looked at the second and said with a chuckle I didn’t appreciate, “She said she saw a mouse in her car and apparently she’s scared.”
The second guy smiled, but showed some understanding when he said, “My girlfriend is afraid of mice too.” He became my hero when he started for the car, saying, “I’ll take care of it.”
I phoned my husband. Knowing the depth of my phobia, he said with a sigh, “I’m on my way.” I shivered with relief; I didn’t have to drive the mouse-infested car!
The guys spent several minutes pounding their fists against the floor and seats to scare the mouse out of hiding. Occasionally they snickered out loud and I knew they were laughing at me. Finally they retreated and declared, “It must have run out at some point because it’s not there.”
“N...no... I’ve been watching,” I said adamantly, “it did not come out.”
“I’m sorry, but I’m already late for work,” my ex-hero said. “But,I really think it’s gone.”
Just then the mouse appeared, perched on the door ledge by the driver’s seat. “There it is!” I shrieked.
We all watched as it jumped out of the car, ran around the tire and, for a split-second, looked like it might jump back in. Instead it ran under the car and across the highway.
After my husband and I exchanged cars, I went on to work. It took hours for my nerves to settle down. My excuse for being late set everyone into hysterical fits of laughter. Then someone had the audacity to ask, "Did the mouse make it across the road okay?"
Humph . . . as if I would ever care.
Note: This is a true story
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