It all started innocently enough. On a Wednesday morning, Michelle saw a furry little creature scurrying along the baseboards in our kitchen. Before heading out to work, I dutifully put some peanut butter in a couple mouse traps and placed them strategically in the laundry room and kitchen.
I returned home that evening figuring I would find a mouse that I would get rid of before Michelle could even get home. Boy was I wrong!
That evening before bed, we saw the mouse scurrying through our sons’ playroom. After putting the boys to bed, I set out the traps again confident that this mouse would soon be exterminated. But this mouse had other ideas.
Thursday morning came, and the real fun began. As we are all about to head out the door to our jobs and daycare, Michelle screams “it just ran into your workbag.” I’m tempted to pull a Clark Griswold and grab a hammer to crush this little vermin right then and there. The realization that a $1500 dollar laptop also sits in my bag ends this masterful plan. So I grab my bag, but there’s no sign of the little mouse, whom Michelle has now named Wily. Again, I put out the Mouse trap, but again, I return home to an empty trap. That night, Thursday, I see the mouse darting across the playroom right under our television stand. “I’ve got him,” I think to myself. I place a mouse trap right at the base of the TV stand, the Peanut Butter oozing out a pungent temptation. The next thing I know, that mouse pokes his head out, sniffs around the mouse trap, and…retreats back to his hiding place under the TV. He repeats this sniffing routine a few more times before scurrying away for the night.
Friday brought much of the same. As I get ready to leave for work, he scampers out into the open and quickly darts into the kitchen. Suddenly, he runs under the stove. I wait patiently for him to show his face again as I slide a mouse trap right under the stove. Seconds later, he appears, and glares at me. “This damn mouse is taunting me,” I mutter to myself. I want to stay and battle, but work is calling.
This white whale of a mouse continued to haunt me throughout the day, flashing its little mouse eyes in my mind all day long.
I awoke Saturday morning determined to end this standoff once and for all. While feeding Andrew, our eight-month old, the beast appears, poking his head out from under the stove. Now, he’s mine! I approach slowly, and plant two traps around the base of the stove. I watch closely as the little vermin inches closer to the trap, and begins licking the peanut butter.
“Finally! I’ve got him.” Even little Andrew can sense the triumph I am about to achieve as he smiles and giggles repeatedly (although the cereal being stuffed into his mouth might have something to do with this).
Then, suddenly, the mouse leaps on top of the trap, but the trap does not snap. I can’t believe what I am watching. As I approach, the mouse leaps down and scurries under the dishwasher. I decide to try chicken bread crumbs in the trap next, as suggested by a friend of mine. But the mouse does not appear out from under the dishwasher for a few minutes.
Desperate, I grab a box and place it at the base of the dishwasher. When the mouse appears again, I quickly flip the box, hoping to capture the mouse inside. Alas, the slippery little devil eluded my trap.
He further rubs it in my face as he prances back over to trap, and leaps atop it once again. At this point, I look down at the box, and back at the mouse. I channel my inner-Clark Griswald, reflecting on his classic plan for capturing a squirrel.
I pick up the box, and creep around the island in the center of our kitchen.
I stand only a foot from the trap with my mortal enemy atop. I hoist the box atop my head and slam it down with all the force I can muster right onto the trap. When I kick the box aside, there lies my mouse, snapped inside the trap.
Victory has been achieved. I stand triumphant, but a tinge of sadness overcomes me. My worthy adversary is no more, but I appreciate the fight.
I now how Captain Ahab felt. My white whale had been defeated.