I’ve known we’ve had a mouse in the house for a while. I’ve heard it late at night, and there’s been physical evidence left behind. I’d left a shirt on the floor of my office for a few days and when I moved it the other day there was an acorn under it. I left the acorn there after picking up the shirt, and the next day the acorn was gone again.
Years ago, for reasons that escape me, I brought a double handful of big acorns into the house, then put them in a drawer and promptly forgot them. At some point a mouse stole them and began hiding them around the house. I’ve found quite a few little stashes over the years, and usually throw them out when I do. I know many of the mice that made them are no longer with us, but it seems like each new mouse that comes in finds some of those acorns and hoards them like gold.
Late Friday night/Saturday morning, around 4:00 or so, I encountered our newest house mouse. Like many men of my age, I spend an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom. Nature called again around 4:00. I stepped into the bathroom and immediately thought I saw something coming down the wall near the bathtub. When I looked closer, it was the mouse, a sleek, gray, well-fed looking creature.
It appeared he wanted out of the bathroom and there’s only one way out. I was standing in his way. He darted a step toward me and I darted a step back. I then tried to reason with him that if he would just be patient, I’d get out of his way post haste. Apparently, he wasn’t patient. He came shooting in my direction. I did the only thing I could under the circumstances. I grabbed hold of the sink on the left and the wall on the right and…levitated.
Here’s the thing, I’m not really scared of mice. I outweigh them by a considerable amount. I don’t find them disgusting. I think they’re rather cute, in fact. So why is it that when such a small thing comes scurrying toward me, I immediately engage in the standard avoidance dance?
Maybe it’s the acorns. Maybe I’m afraid I’ll encounter a mouse who can’t tell the difference between acorns and…well, you know.