I removed the layers of clothes I’d piled on over my nightshirt to go out and feed the animals. I warned Jon my hands were cold and slid back into bed next to him.
“What’s going on out there?” Jon asked as I knew he would, as he always does when I come in from feeding the animals.
I was excited, I had a story.
Living with a storyteller I’ve learned how to tell stories. I used to rush through my stories, not believing anyone really wanted to hear them. I would quickly get to the point with little or no emotion.
Now when I bring a good story home, I milk it. Even prefacing it with some enticing words, and a little dramatic delay before beginning. Knowing Jon wants to hear my stories helps.
Last night, after finding mouse dropping in the fruit bowl, Jon set two traps on the kitchen counter.
“Did we get a mouse?” Jon asked before I could begin my story.
“There were two mice,” I said….” one dead and one alive. ”
The first thing I did after letting the dogs out was look at the mouse traps. There in the fruit bowl was a dead mouse caught in a trap. “Sorry mouse,” I said as released it and picked it up by the tail.
That’s when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye.
A little brown mouse, smaller than the one in the trap, ran across the stove and disappeared into the space between the stovetop and the part of the stove with the clock and knobs.
I figured that was how the mice were getting on the stove. That there was a passageway from under the control panel down through the back of the stove.
I tossed the dead mouse into the pasture, picked up after the dogs and went back into the house to feed the cats. As I walked by the stove I saw the little triangular nose peeking out just under the clock.
I tilted my head so I could get a better look under the control panel and there was the mouse looking back at me.
There was no passageway behind the stove. The only way out for the mouse was across the stovetop. I guess he felt it was safer to hide than run.
So I got a pair of gloves then reached under the control panel and grabbed the mouse.
The poor thing was so scared, it bit my glove and didn’t want to let go. I opened the back door and before I could step outside, the mouse squirmed out of my hand and landed on the threshold right in front of Minnie who was waiting by the door for her breakfast.
I quickly bent down and scooped up the mouse before Minnie could spring on it or it could run back into the house. Then I brought it to the stone wall by the dahlia garden and opened my hand.
But instead of running away, the mouse ran up my arm.
Without thinking, I brushed the mouse off my arm as I might a spider. It flew through the air and landed on the leaves then scurried into a space between the rocks.
“That’s a good story,” Jon said, “are you going to write about it?”
I already knew what the drawing would look like of the little mouse nose sticking out of the bottom of the control panel on the stove.