Valentine's Day is a special day, full of love and happiness, over priced floral bouquets, recession ending sales for Hallmark, and sticky heart shaped chocolate boxes, but for me today marks the third anniversary of the day I touched a dead mouse.
Three years ago we had a wee bit of a mouse problem, little guys sneaking in behind the refrigerator and running wild about the place while we slept. I did very little sleeping, knowing these uninvited guests were scurrying about our apartment.
Hurrying about, trying to get two 18 month old girls ready for dinner, shoes on, dresses on, we sat on the couch to rest a minute before we headed out to meet their dad for Valentine's Day. Kate was looking for a stuffed animal, had to have it before we left, very upset at the thought of not having the bunny, or bear, or dog before dinner. As I often did, I ran my hand, sight unseen, under the sofa in the family room, yes, there it was, something small and soft and furry, and so I swept it out in my hand. I looked down, thankfully, before scooping it up and handing it to the child.
This is no bunny, it's not a bear or even a small stuffed dog, this my dears is a dead mouse. Yanking my hand back, I grabbed both girls at once and ran to the front of the apartment, as far as I could get from the corpse. And then I remembered Eleanor Roosevelt, the beagle, the hunter, the sniffer, and, screaming, ran to find her. Mrs. Roosevelt, the laziest dog you could ever hope for, was thankfully celebrating Valentine's Day sleeping on her bed, having yet to notice the carcass laying just feet from her. Without looking at it again, I grabbed the dog and ran to the front. Both girls now crying, their mother screaming and crying, the dog confused and wanting to sleep, I found the phone to call Jack. I got his assistant. She put me right through, "I TOUCHED A DEAD MOUSE". He had me on speaker phone, the entire bank now knows that one, we have mice in our house, and two, I touched a dead one.
Locked the dog in the bathroom, stuffed two children under my arms like footballs, grabbed my bag and ran out the front door, leaving the dead one on the beautiful Persian carpet in our family room.
Renovations on our kitchen began sooner than originally planned. We have not seen a mouse since.