Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lionel and Tuppence and Mice

I knew it would happen, I just didn't know when. My brothers warned me about it from the time I was probably 10 years old. When my little sister and I were applying our interior decorating skills to the old corn crib, in order to change it to a Captain Kangaroo club house, my brother warned, in a menacing tone, 'Watch out. A mouse will run up your pant leg!'

Believe me, from that moment forward, I was afraid of mice. And why did I believe my brother? Maybe, just maybe, it's because he always followed through on a threat. There was a sad chapter in my life during which my brother would, at some point each day, sidle up to me and whisper, sinisterly, 'Sis, sometime before you go to bed tonight, I'm going to hit you really, really hard.' My heart would sink. I knew, just as surely as I knew the sun would rise the next day, that sometime before I went to bed that night, my brother would, indeed, ambush me and deliver the threatened punch - a really hard punch - on my upper arm, right on my smallpox vaccination. I spent my days in dread and fear.

And that's my explanation, my justification, for my fear of mice. It wasn't just the usual, 'oh eek a mouse' fear, but the 'standing on a chair when I saw one in the room' fear.

Am I afraid of snakes? Absolutely not. I can calmly snuggle up to a snake and feel its fascinating dry, smooth skin. It always reminds me of the plastic lanyard necklace I made when I was a kid at Bible camp. And I have no fear of spiders - at all. I could even squish a spider with my fingers if I had to, although I'm not sure what circumstance would warrant that necessity. But mice? I think it's because they don't just walk around, they SCURRY. They DART. And I think they carry the PLAGUE. Well, maybe not, but then again, one can't be too cautious.

Fortunately, my fear of mice has waned considerably over the years. Maybe it was when we got cats and I realized that the cats would keep the mice at bay. Mouse fear, however, lingers there just enough so that I'm still a little worried about what I'd do if I were driving and one crawled up my pantleg (as my brothers warned).

And that brings me to last night. I was sitting at my computer, oblivious to the world around me, when I suddenly felt something run up my leg. NO, I'm NOT KIDDING. I screamed and shook my leg furiously and sure enough, a MOUSE FELL OUT OF MY PANTLEG. Admittedly, it was no bigger than a 'Lil Smokie sausage, but it was a mouse nonetheless. Kevin suggested that perhaps it was actually a ladybug that scurried up my leg. Oh Sure. A lady bug that's 2" x .5" x .5"?? It still makes me shudder to think of it. As I'm sitting here at the computer today, I have my pantlegs pushed up to my knees.

And where are those two good-for-nothing cats for whom we provide room and board and all sorts of pleasantness?? I can see that things have gotta change around here. Maybe I'll give them less food in the evening, so they'll be encouraged to spend their nights chasing mice rather than lounging around on my pillow with their whiskers up my nose.

Now I'm wondering if there are any other unpleasant predictions my brothers made that have yet to be fulfilled.

UPDATE: May my cats forgive me for casting aspersions on their character. I discovered that Tuppence, that most remarkable cat, dispatched the mouse late last night. Good kitty.


Deborah said...

I really AM rolling around on the floor this time. This is funniest post I have ever read. (really LOL hard)I was almost in tears when you told how mean your brother was to you and then all of a sudden the laughter sprung up and spilled out when I read about the mouse up the pant leg. I am sorry my friend, I should not laugh Oh my, and the cat whiskers up your nose made me laugh too. You can tell quite the wonder you are an author. :) Thanks for all the laughter today. Where were you you last night when I was rather grumpy??

Bethany Nash said...

I knew at the beginning that at some point a mouse was going to run up your leg, but that didn't make it any less hilarious to read. :)

(Not that I would ever laugh at your expense, of course. ;)

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

OMG I would have just screamed and freaked out! Like you probably did. When my daughter was in high school we lived in the country and as she got in her car and began driving to school...a mouse was crawling around right by her foot and the gas pedal...she freaked too and almost crashed the car!

Cranberry Morning said...

...and now I'm wondering if I should tuck my pantlegs into my socks before I drive, just in case!

Unknown said...

I am laughing all the way. Oh my goodness why doesn't things like that happen to me. So funny.

Cranberry Morning said...

Believe me, they're not quite that funny while they're happening! :-)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Judy, how could you! Casting aspersions on Lionel's character - a cat that adorable doesn't need to do a thing to earn his keep!


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