"I hear rustling... like... going through bags..."
Yesterday we discovered we had a mouse invade our kitchen. Previously we knew that they had infiltrated our attic and have caught several since we moved in last year, but not before yesterday had any made their way into the rest of the house. Steve had picked up 2 bags of toasted coconut marshmallows to make Rice Krispie treats with, opened a bag to try one, scrunched it closed, left to do a quick errand - and came back to find that 2 of them had made their way half-nibbled out onto the counter complete with a gift of a dropping from the mallow-thief.
Let me make one thing abundantly clear: I don't do mice. Steve knows this. When this happened, he reacted fast and perfectly. He upped the number of traps in the attic from 7 to 10 and we now have 4 or 5 "safe" traps in the kitchen. Mice are not allowed in my house unless I buy one from a pet store and keep it in an aquarium.
So last night at about 11:00 we were wrapping up a conversation and getting ready to head to bed when I heard it. The unmistakable sound of plastic bags being rustled around. I stiffened, pointed at the door, and announced what I heard. "I hear rustling... like... going through bags..."
Steve immediately stood and responded to my obvious concern. The memory of the bunches of spiders I have killed for him over the years came running to his mind (maybe not, I just imagine it that way) and he got into action. He's the man of the house, we had an invader, and it was unacceptable to him to have this unwanted visitor laying claim to his snacks (and spooking his wife). He headed down the stairs and I heard him stop moving so that he could stand and listen for movement. The door to the pantry opened and then I heard silence, like one of those pregnant pauses in an uncomfortable conversation.
"Uh.... this is awkward."
"I'm staring at him. And he's staring at me."
(Knowing we had clean traps downstairs, I assumed he meant that this was happening through the plastic of the trap.) "So? Get rid of him."
"Yeah... he's not in the trap."
Our intruder had managed to climb up to the top shelf in our pantry and Steve was engaged in an old-school "Who blinks first" staring contest with the vermin. Busted.
To make the next part of the story incredibly short, he managed to trap him on the floor of our pantry, capture him, and eliminate the problem. While Steve was outside finishing the task, I went to work to sort through and get rid of any food product that had been compromised with mouse cooties. 3 bags of chips that I'd mouse-proofed, our Odwalla bars, cereal, hot chocolate... everything seemed clear. Then I saw what I thought were more awful droppings fall to the floor.
A second glance made my stomach drop. That pesky stupid vermin had chosen - of all the delicious things in my pantry - to make his snack of choice our bag of Minnesota Wild Rice. A bag of rice that Steve had brought back with him from his trip to Minneapolis last year that I was hoping to use to make a delicious creation with our CSA this summer. Farm-fresh veggies and wild rice... doesn't that sound like a comforting meal? I thought so too.
No pun intended... but that rat bastard.
Steve came upstairs and asked what the damage was. I pointed at the rice and we both vented in frustration because the wild rice that he especially was looking forward to eating was now tainted and could no longer be consumed."Why," I asked, "of all the things in our pantry did the stupid mouse choose our freaking wild rice? OF ALL THINGS?"
Steve looked at me like he was about to state the obvious. "He's a mouse. They like whole grain."
That wasn't good enough, so I pressed harder. "Then why not the granola bars or the high fiber cereal or the oatmeal?"
Steve paused, then looked at me, shrugged, and said matter of factly:
"Mice eat organic."