Morning dawned to an empty mousetrap. I was still rubbing the sleep from my eyes when Dad again expressed his doubts about my sanity:
“If there was a mouse in the house, I’d have already caught him. You didn’t see any mouse. It was all in your imagination.”
“You think?” I asked, figuring that if I played along he’d abandon any attempt to catch the little guy.
“There’s not even any signs of a mouse,” Dad said. “If we had a mouse there’d be droppings all over.”
“You’re probably right.”
After breakfast, I settled down in the recliner with my laptop and Dad plunked on the couch to watch his favorite talking heads. A little while later I heard a strange noise and looked around to find the source. Pleased as punch, that little mouse was sitting up next to the fireplace bricks munching on something he was holding between his tiny paws.
“Dad.” I whispered. No response. “Dad!” I said, a little louder. When I finally got his attention I said, “Stand up slowly and look to your right.”
“The mouse. He’s over here next to the fireplace.”
“How do you know?” he asked.
“I heard him eating and looked up and there he was.”
“You heard him eating?”
“Yeah, I heard him.”
“You’re crazy,” he said. “Heard a mouse – that’s impossible.”
Dad’s hearing is not what it used to be, but I can understand how someone might find it improbable that I heard a mouse eating. I swear it’s the truth. I looked over and that little guy looked back at me, not the least bit concerned about my presence. The moment Dad started to get up from the sofa, however, the mouse dashed behind the magazine rack and disappeared under the baseboard heating strip. Dad never did see him, so he still thinks I’m imagining things, but just in case he’s moved the trap next to the fireplace. I’ve set out an old cottage cheese container next to the trap because Dad has agreed to release the mouse outside if I can catch him. Of course, Dad doesn’t believe that I can possibly catch him. But I think it is telling that the mouse keeps showing himself to me but disappearing whenever Dad’s around. Is it possible that the mouse knows I am not a threat but senses danger with Dad?
I’m sure more will be revealed….