Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Mouse

Last night at about 9 pm I told my helper to prepare the dinner and leave it in the kitchen. We’d had a late lunch and weren’t particularly hungry, but at around 10.30 I started feeling a bit peckish and went into the kitchen to help myself to some nibbles. As soon as I turned on the kitchen light something dark jumped at me and then dropped on the floor and scuttled away. I screamed like I have never screamed. The whole house hold, both my helpers, my husband, my daughter and my dogs , everyone was by my side within a few seconds. I am sure my scream would have woken up the neighbors, I just hope it didn’t.
All this because of a harmless little mouse , which is almost a pet to my daughter. As if I need another pet! We have 2 hamsters, 2 dogs, 4 turtles, and about half a dozen fish. But this little thing, scared the kitchen lights out of me. Now the whole house hold had gathered around with brooms and sticks and we were like the drum warriors drumming the rat out. My husband and one of my helpers tried to trap the little fella behind the TV cabinet and my other helper and myself were jumping up and down like lunatics out in the open. However during all this my little daughter was crying helplessly and begging us not to harm the little miscreant. We were not going to harm him in any case, all, my husband wanted was to shoo him out, lest he bit into his precious silver oxide wires. We sort of knew of his presence, but had never really seen him. At times I would see little bits of paper , pieces of biscuit, or bread around and I always found it rather strange. We would leave the kitchen spotless and would wake up at times to find these bits all around. I had put the house hold on red alert and we even went out and bought those modern day mouse traps that just makes the mouse stick and does not hurt it in any way. We had placed it in various places rather discreetly, hoping little mickey/minnie would find its way onto this sticky gooey trap. But Darwin’s survival theory has confirmed evolutions’ role in developing the mouse brain , just so that it avoids any kind of traps. Obviously the human survival does not depend on avoiding the mouse trap, so each one of us in the house took turns to put either our foot or hand into the trap.
All my endeavors had failed to catch the mouse and after a while we had chosen to ignore the problem . Tonight however was different. The problem had suddenly taken form and now it was staring back at me with frightened eyes. The poor thing was so scared that it was running around like a headless chicken. And we the drum warriors were out in force to trap him and send him to the guillotine!
Why am I writing about this fairly innocuous incident? Maybe I just like writing as I am still practicing writing, but I think I saw something here that we all overlook in our rush to get on with life.
All the people in the house hold had different reactions to the same situation. My husband was angry and out to get the little pest, he saw it as a threat to his music system wires and would not rest till he had caught him. He kept banging and using various means to get him out in the open. One of my helpers was helping him and she had this smug look on her face. She was the brave one. The other helper was scared out of her wits and I was screaming trying to calm the house down, but instead adding to the chaos. Only my daughter was trying to save the little mouse. She thought it was rather cute and she wanted to pet him and feed him.
How our past experiences tend to colour our future thoughts. My daughter had never seen a mouse do any harm, therefore in her eyes it was a harmless creature, my husband had obviously suffered and experienced destruction at the hands of the little rodent and my scared helper had been scared by her brother when she was still young. Her fear never left her. I was petrified because I am just about petrified of anything that can jump on you and startle you. My brave helper was just following instructions as she was ambivalent about the whole thing.
So here we were each of us holding on to our thoughts and seeing the mouse in a different light. Some saw it as a problem and some couldn’t be bothered and for some it was an opportunity to have a new pet . If only we all could see things in a positive light, life would be so much more opportune and fulfilling.

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