There is nothing quite as disconcerting as the sound of a mouse chewing. You know its out there, but you can’t figure out where. Then there is the nagging idea that you wouldn’t what to do if your ever had to confront one. Those are the emotions Eric felt when he heard that sound one night as he entered his dark kitchen just after midnight.
He knew the problem of finding the intrusive rodent rested squarely on his shoulders. Everyone else in his family would simply run away screaming.
Eric flicked on the light and the chewing stopped. It was like a game. Man versus mouse. He checked the traps he set after the last encounter. Empty. It felt emasculating, losing to a mouse. As much as he didn’t want this problem, the enemy was certainly in his territory.
Somehow, he needed to think like a mouse. Eric strategized. All living things need food, water and shelter. The food appeared undisturbed. So was any water source. Eric racked his brain. Surely, he could outwit a witless, tiny creature.
He remained still for so long, the chewing resumed. Every sense in his brain heightened as the triangulated the location. It came from the fridge. As if in slow motion, Eric crept to the source of the sound. There was nothing he could see hiding behind it. He dropped to the floor and checked under the fridge.
As soon as his cheek touched the floor, a tiny field mouse bolted from his hiding spot. It crashed into Eric’s nose and deflected off his lips before making a sharp turn back to safety.
Eric’s heart leapt. A high-pitched squeal escaped his lips. He scrambled backward, knocking over the dog’s water dish. Brittany arrived in the kitchen just in time to see Eric writhe all over the floor, soaked with water.
“What happened to you?” she demanded.
“I saw the mouse. It almost ran into my mouth,” panted Eric as he aggressively wiped his mouth.
“It jumped at your face?”
“Like it was possessed or something,” he replied.
“What?” demanded Eric.
“I want you to remember this,” she said, “the next time the girls ask for a cat.”