An Open Letter to the Mouse We Keep Seeing

Dear Mouse,

Please get out. Get out of my house.

I saw you a few nights ago as I sat on the couch. I was reading a book, but somehow I saw you in my peripheral, hugging the wall as you ran from that weird and unused floor vent in our dining room and into our kitchen, under the cover of our curtains.

It was involuntary. Though you were running away from me, I lifted my feet, gasped, and whisper-yelled to Eric: mooouUSE! MOUSE! mousemousemousemousemouse, I saw a mouse.

He leapt up and ran to the kitchen because killing mice is his job. It was part of our wedding vows. We lost site of you for a moment, and he opened the back door, ready to sweep you out of our house with the broom brandished in his hand like a warrior’s sword.

But you chose to stay here, here in our home, because in the next minute, we saw you dart towards the back corner of our pantry, into that corner we can’t get to because of the shoe shelf.

And I get it. It’s cold outside. Perhaps you, like me, sense the beginning of fall, the coming of winter. Perhaps you too hear the geese honking as they fly over our roof every morning, headed for warmer weather. And maybe you are also looking forward to fall, with its stay-home coziness, excited to eat the apple pie crumbs that will inevitably end up on our floor despite my daily, fervent sweeping. We’re not so different; maybe you are preparing to cozy up and get fat and winter with your babies, just like me.

But please, do it somewhere else. May I suggest to you the building next door, the one with sporting goods store on ground level? No one lives there, and you could live your nights carefree as Templeton at the county fair. Unlike here, no babies crawl around on that floor, where you could creep around on your dirty little mouse feet to your tiny heart’s content without spreading disease and general nastiness. Please consider a move; it’s just across the parking lot.

You for sure, by now, have seen the traps we’ve set out. We have put them along the route you ran, and you’ve deftly evaded them despite the cheese and peanut butter I know you want. But you’re smart mouse, you know better.

And so tonight, we are intensifying our efforts. It’s nothing personal, but it’s come to this. We will lay out boxes of poison, and you, like your brethren of old, will be drawn to it like a moth to the flame. I will wake up each morning and see how much of it you’ve taken.  It’s a dance I’ve done many times before. I don’t particularly like the way of poison, but I like having you in my house even less.

It didn’t have to be this way, Mouse. Had you stayed in some dark and unseen corner of this house, we could have coexisted. But you have crossed the Dining Room Rubicon and therefore violated the terms of our closing documents the Treaty of 2009. So, do us both a favor and just leave; leave now, and take all of your kind with you. Or tonight you will face the wrath of my green-pelleted weaponry.

Liz (for all of us)

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