A shriek pierced my eardrums! With a jolt of adrenaline, I scrambled from my chair and sprinted into the kitchen; why my elder sister had screamed? A robber? A thief? Was she hurt? Or had she seen a ghost? (She’s a horror-movie freak!).
“It was there!” she shouted, trembling from top to toe, biting her fingers, her eyes popping out in terror. It couldn’t have been plainer that she had really met a ghost…
“A mouse! A big, fatty-black mouse!” she cried.
Ah…I rolled my eyes. Yes, why not? A meagre mouse or rat is no less scary than the meanest ghost! People, especially girls, would agree, eh?!!
Well, I’ve had the chance to meet these lightning-speed fast beings. But nowhere have I found them scary or sinister. Funny and cute would be the apt words, don’t you think? (Urgh! They are not funny but filthy! My sister claims.). They come in all shapes, strength and smartness: big and small; black and brown; hairy and furry with pointed, witty faces, and round, innocent eyes, scurrying and scuttling about, nibbling away the food-bits, troubling our moms in the kitchens!
Once, I took out a long-forgotten, dusty book from my bookshelf to read only to find the entire first chapter torn and eaten, probably by a bookish rat who might have found the chapter thoroughly enjoyable to tuck it away!
Of late, we’ve started keeping Rat-Mouse traps to trap these funny thieves. These traps are steel cages with a lever at the top. The lever is pulled to open the cage and is struck at the loop of the steel mesh. You stick the food-bait in the steel-mesh attached to the lever. Now the rat, seeing the food in the cage, thanks the heavens for its good-luck, and sneaks inside. The moment it touches the lever…Bang shuts the cage! The rat is trapped and, next morning, we see it off from our house. (Sometimes, emotionally, they come back…again and again!)
But some rats, believe me, turn out to be smarty ones. Instead of stepping into the cage, they hop over it and steal the food away. They are tough to catch. They are, I’m very sure, young ones – the gen-next rats. They probably learn the smart-techniques from Youtube videos!
And guess what? Even as I am writing this piece in my diary, I suddenly see a nicely-eaten page where I had recently composed a lovely poem! Alas! My Poem is no more! But wait…
Oddly, I don’t feel sad. I am happy, in fact. The mousy rat must have fallen in love with my poem and considered it irresistibly delicious to have it away! Literary mouse, perhaps! Thank you, Mouse, for being in my house!