The sun was dropping to the horizon, the sky lavender with whispers of coral pink. The day had bloomed. A friend had arrived with her camera to shoot blooms and bees. A neighbor had walked to the backyard to chat about our greenhouse. He wanted to build one too. Our yard man mowed.
The bounce of basketballs and children’s laughter filtered through the neighborhood. The aroma of grilled chicken wafted across our yards. A mockingbird sang its evensong.
A prayer welled up in me.
Tomorrow will be Easter— Again. It’s the again that supplies us. Again and again. Hallelujah.
And then suddenly a mouse darted out from the house, skittering by my feet, escaping down the steps and into the hollies.
What!? Another mouse!
Three weeks ago, when we discovered evidence of mice in our pantry closet, we set a trap slathered in peanut butter. When the trap caught a fat mouse, we decided to clean out the pantry! And then the laundry room. And the back hallway. And a closet off the hallway.
As we removed roasting pans, shoes, buckets, baseball caps, coats and more, we discovered dry dog food—in pans, shoes, and hats. At first I was amused. But as we kept sweeping up dry bits of Purina’s Pro Plan, I became alarmed.
A tiny hole along the hot water pipe for the washer was the probable entry. Poking fine steel wool into the hole with a pencil, I said, “That should do it!”
Having purged closets, we thought, let’s clean out drawers and the file cabinet. In the end, I used our dolly to wheel the old cumbersome filing cabinet out to the road where it disappeared within an hour. Focused entirely on getting the dolly under the cabinet and wheeling it out the back door and down steps, I hadn’t noticed what was behind the cabinet, not until later when I went to clean the floor and wall.
Where the filing cabinet had been, three pounds of dry dog food had cascaded onto the floor. The file cabinet had acted like a wall for a cache behind adjacent drawer units. Here is when I became understandably horrified. Mice were probably nesting in behind the drawer units and had been pilfering dog food from the dog bowl for a long time. And Warehousing it.
Removing the last of the dry bits from the crack behind the drawer units was possible with a thin vacuum hose from the warehoused miscellany in our garage. But removing possible mice from a nest would be trickier. We secured the dog food. What the mice might do, we weren’t sure. But they definitely were not going to dine on Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food.
With a repainted and thoroughly cleaned, tidier area, we hoped for the best.
And then on the eve of Easter, as the sun dropped, a mouse saw its opportunity— an open back door— and escaped. Mooch the Mouse had given up.
So there it was—Easter eve, the lavender and pink sky, the it’s-been-a- good-day- feeling. And Mooch the Mouse. Peace and Yikes! All together.