Monday, October 29, 2007

Unwelcome visitors

One morning last week I woke up and heard rustling sounds in my room. I had the feeling that I was not alone, but I couldn't think how any creatures could have gotten into my room. Sometimes I hear the rats in the walls, but there are no openings for them to enter the room itself. Yet the sounds seemed so close by. Later Tanya and I agreed that it was probably something in the walls.

Meanwhile, I was packing my things to move to another apartment. My room was in disrepair. At the end of the day I packed for several hours. I finally stumbled into bed around 2 am and reached to turn out the light. But the rustling began again. It had to be in the room. I heard the sound travel around the room, from behind one bed to behind another, to behind the bookcase. I sat on my bed waiting for something or someone to emerge. It reminded me of the bats back in Massachusetts. I would hear them scratching, and despite being afraid to meet them face-to-face, I wanted to see the creature behind the noise. Once I flung open the little door to the storage space, and an injured bat was lying there, flapping around on the floor.

So I continued my vigil for a few minutes, wondering what I would see. Finally a little dark shape scampered out from one piece of furniture and ran behind another. It was a little mouse. Now my curiosity was satisfied, but I was not looking forward to spend a night with a mouse. I turned my computer on to see if anyone online had any suggestions. My sister was still online. She suggested that I imagine the mouse as a cute storybook character, completely harmless and probably terrified of me. Eventually I went to sleep.

The next evening was another packing session. I hadn't heard any noises and was satisfied that Mr.Mouse had left. I got into bed, exhausted. But before I could fall asleep, it began again. It was already after 2. Please Mr.Mouse, let me sleep! Each time I began to drift off, it would begin again. Finally I turned the light back on and tiptoed over to where the noises were coming from. The mouse had jumped into the box from my printer and was struggling to get out. In desperation I grabbed the packing tape and scissors and sealed the box. Then I jumped back in bed.

Mr.Mouse did not like being trapped in the box. Finally at around 3:30 I grabbed the box, ran with it over to the door, and shoved it out into the stairwell. I couldn't remember if I needed anything with the box. I had taped it shut without checking.

In the morning, I retrieved the box. The mouse was gone. I packed up my printer and got ready for the move. Later as we drove away, I couldn't help wondering if he had climbed into my boxes and joined us for the ride.

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