Had a little excitement during the Mother's Day brunch we hosted this weekend. After the meal, I was sitting at the dining room table chatting with my mother-in-law and our other lady relatives when Sal walks in and calmly explains "Well, we have a situation. There's a rat in my office."
Turns out that while Sal and his two dads were lounging in the back yard, they watched a giant, hairy rat zoom out of the garden and right into the open door of Sal's office, a big room that is part of our detached garage. So what do the dads decide to do? Why, shrug their shoulders and have another gulp of beer, of course! "He'll come out eventually," said one. "I'd put out some D-Con!" said another. "That thing is huge!" they chortled.
Well, I am not the kind of person who can just forget about a giant crazy rat in a room, any room, of my house. Also, I was curious to get a look at this monster. Sal said it ran into a corner, beneath one of the metal shelving units that hold his fourteen hundred thousand comic books. So I get down on all fours (waaaay on the other side of the room) and flick on the flashlight. And let me just say that this was hardly a scary beast. In fact, it was the sorriest excuse for a rat I have ever seen. It was pale and raggedy, and it cowered in the corner with little black frightened eyes that were wide as saucers.
I stand up. "We are not killing it."
For a moment, Sal stares thoughtfully around the room. And then he instructs me to start grabbing comic book boxes off the shelves. "We're going to build a run!" he exclaims. How deeply I love this man. So we dragged the heavy boxes across the floor until we had barricaded this area from the rest of the office. There was only one way for this devil to run, and that was OUT.
(The dads think all this is hysterical, and they keep getting up to look inside and snicker at what we're doing. One stands by the door with his foot raised. "When he runs out, I'll get 'im!")
We finish constructing the run, and I rattle a broom around back in the corner. The rat squeaked in terror, which totally hurt my heart, but he did run out. Unfortunately, we forgot to block one important crevice - the space behind the tall, heavy filled-to-the-brim bookcase - so naturally that's exactly where he runs. Swearing ensues. Especially when we realize he was hiding in a small space beneath the bottom shelf, where we couldn't even shoo him out with the broom.
So we begin the process of removing all the books. And once they were out, Sal tilts the shelf over and I do my broom-waving thing, adding for good measure some yelps and shrieks and "GETOUTTAHERE! GETOUTTAHERE!"
This poor, sad fellow. In broad daylight I realize he is half-bald. And what fur he does have is a sickly looking, mottled grey. He keeps running in circles and bumping into boxes, so I bang the broom on the floor in a strategic manner, and the rat finally makes his way out the door and into the woodpile near the garage.
Here's a picture of the run. We are quite proud of ourselves. (You can also see Chickenbone, who was too much of a pansy to face the actual rat itself, but still wanted to growl at the scent lingering behind the bookcase.)
As for the rat, he stayed in the woodpile, no doubt petrified of the giant red dog who kept shoving his snout into the wood and barking. A couple hours later, after Chickens had gone inside, the rodent (now affectionately known as Ratbone) creeped out and headed toward the garden area, and then down the driveway and behind our trash cans. We assumed he probably escaped under the fence, because what kind of nutjob rat would want to stick around all this broom-waving, dog-slobbering craziness?
But a little while later, Chickens comes out to inspect the woodpile again, and from there we watched him slowly sniff out the exact trail the rat took, all the way around the yard. Next thing we know, he's lunging at the trash cans barking and snarling up a storm. Actual spittle is flung from his jaws as I pick up the writhing little dog. Sal runs over, moves the cans and opens the gate, and our friend the rat makes his exit.
And that is the story of my very first mother's day! I also got flowers and a lovely card from my husband, and I ate bacon. It was a really good day.