There is nothing more irritating than finding a mouse in the house! I am not afraid of mice, but I want them to stay in their own territory and not invade mine.

Recently, I discovered evidence that one of the nasty, little critters had been sampling goodies during the wee hours. I began a search for mouse traps, which I hadn’t used for several years, and finally found one. I baited it with peanut butter and placed it in what I hoped was a likely location.

The next day, I found the trap empty of both peanut butter and rodent. That evening, I baited the trap with a bit of hamburger and went to bed. I had trouble falling asleep, for I kept imagining I heard that darned mouse scurrying around. I kept hoping to hear the sound of a snapping trap, but finally dozed off without having that satisfaction.

I awakened suddenly, facing the digital clock on my bedside table. The time was 2:23 a.m., and I sensed in my fuzzy-minded condition that I had heard something which alerted me. Listening intently, I heard a rustle, swish, swish, rustle, which sounded like a tree limb brushing the side of the house. Since there are no trees that close to my bedroom, I lay with bated breath (forgive the pun) waiting to hear that sound again.

Isn’t it strange—you can sense movement or sound in the middle of the night, even though you don’t see or hear anything. I just knew there was something in the bedroom with me, and I was fairly certain it was that dratted mouse! How had he got into the bedroom, for goodness sake? I knew for certain he couldn’t get out, for the door to the hallway was closed.

When I heard the sound again, I quickly turned on the light, hoping to catch a glimpse of the little beast. Of course, the light blinded me, so I couldn’t see a thing, but I sensed movement, and then I heard that rustle, swish, rustle, swish again!

I got out of bed and grabbed one of my shoes and pounded it on the floor, hoping to startle my quarry. Sure enough, there he went, scampering from under the chest of drawers. As I watched he ran to the door and reared up on his little hind legs, as if frantically seeking escape. Awww! Poor little guy!

But no! Hardening my heart, I thought, “That door stays closed, and if I can just hit you with this shoe, your career days are over!”

So for about 15 minutes, I scrambled around on the floor, trying to corner that mouse and give him a quick dispatch. Alas, he was much too fast for me. I learned what had been making the strange sounds, however. As he was running behind the chest of drawers he was brushing against a dangling lamp cord, causing it to swing back and forth against the wall. One mystery solved, but where the heck was he now?

As time went on, his trips around the room became even more frantic. And my poor old arthritic knees were giving me fits. He couldn’t get out, and I couldn’t corner him to commit the mayhem that was within my heart! It was an impasse!

I finally went to get the mouse trap, closing the door quickly behind me.

When I came back, I place the freshly baited trap under the chest of drawers, in the path he had been traversing. It wasn’t long until he gee’d when he should have haw’d and I had him! By then it was 3:56 a.m.

Gingerly, I lifted the trap, marched to the back door and pitched trap, mouse and all. I figured that if he wasn’t already dead, the cold would get him. But I didn’t sleep much the rest of the night, picturing all the rest of the critter’s relatives invading the place, seeking revenge!

Lou Waite is a longtime Woodbine resident and former Twiner staff member. Her column will appear occasionally in the Twiner.