Saturday, May 19, 2012


Human instinct is an amazing thing.

It was this morning, a few minutes after 4am. I was in bed, deep in sleep, when I had a sensation of something touching my upper right arm. Something alive. And moving.

In less than a second, two things happened.

One, while I was still fast asleep, my left hand shot across, snatched up the thing, and flung it across the room with a speed I could never consciously manage.

Two, I snapped from asleep to wide awake, with my heart racing.

With alarm bells ringing and my conscious mind going "Wha.. who... what?", it took a few seconds for the reports to coalesce from the senses. It had been kinda moist, reported my skin. Small, but not tiny, recalled my fingers. There was a loud "ker-rang" as it hit the vintage pedal car hanging on the adjacent wall, reported my ears. "It was a GIANT SLUG!" squealed my subconscious.

"It was not a giant slug," said my brain, still groggy but growing more rational by the second. "If it was alive, small and able to rebound off the pedal car, it was probably a cockroach."

A bloody big cockroach, judging from the finger feedback.

The two options - get up and investigate or go back to sleep - presented themselves. For a moment bed warm, room cold, me tired, beat curiosity, but then curiosity played its trump card: if it's out there, what's stopping it from coming back here?

So I got up, staggered to the door, flicked on the lights, glanced around the room and saw this:


It was lying still on the carpet. Do I squish it to make sure? No, that would grind gross mouse ick into the carpet. Pick it up? NO FREAKIN' WAY! Find something to collect it with, like a plastic container.

Still groggy, I ventured off into the rest of the house, dismissing various containers as unhygienic, or already containing other things.

You know, it might just be stunned... my subconscious warned ominously.

I went to the kitchen, got an old peanut butter jar from the cupboard, and returned to the bedroom. Just as I got there, the mouse regained consciousness. It leapt up and darted away... or at least tried to. Something, either brain or bone, had broken when it hit the pedal car, and it bounced chaotically off the walls and bits of furniture.

"Oh no you don't, you son of a bitch," said my brain. "We are not doing this at 4am."

When it came to a momentary stop under my suit rack, I shoved the jar over it. It cheeped piteously as some part of its body got caught under the edge of the jar, but I was in no mood for empathy. I shook the jar to get it in completely, then slammed on the lid.

It was in a bad way, it's rear legs scrabbling at the jar while its front half lay motionless. Pity finally made it past the groggyness and instinctive disgust.

"I'm sorry, little mouse," I whispered.

A few seconds later it stopped moving, even when I shook the jar. It wasn't long enough for it to have used up the oxygen in the jar, so it must have died from its internal injuries.

It's kind of sad... but that's what you get when you're a mouse and you nibble on a man's arm in his own bed!


Blogger Bart said...

From now on, you shall be known as Blandwagon The Slayer Of Beasts!

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Blandwagon said...

If only it had been wearing a tiny waistcoat. Then my life would be complete.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Noble Rot said...

You know there's no such thing as just one mouse, right? RIGHT!??!

3:01 AM  

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