Late Thursday night, my little girl, the sister of the bride, the Maid of Honor comes to the farmhouse. We stay up late, talking over this and that. Her boyfriend arrives tomorrow, Ed's asleep (with Isis!) upstairs. This is one of those rare moments when you can have your grown child in your arms again and pretend that she is not twenty-seven but maybe two, or seven… But within a short while, she sits up.
I smile. My urban child is not used to farmhouse noises. At night we have animals pawing to get in, or merely passing through, alerting us ever so slightly to their presence. Just the usual, I tell her with a yawn.
No, mom, listen!
I indulge her. Yes, sure, animal noises.
Mom, I'm looking at it -- there's a mouse in here with us.
Oh no! The cold air has come, the mice are doing their annual search for a winter condo in a warm spot, preferably with good eating venues nearby.
Hang in there! I'll get the trap and a plastic bin!
But I can't keep it in place for you!
I run to the basement, dust off last year's trap and load it with almond butter (sorry, mouse -- I'm out of peanut butter). In the meantime, the mouse keeps going back and forth from under the end-table to behind the bookcase. I set down the trap, we climb onto the couch and watch.
The mouse runs around the trap, knocks it down and, frightened by the ruckus, runs to the next room.
We're going to lose it! -- my girl groans.
I cannot fail my little one. I grab a large plastic bin and with the determination of a mama bear, I chase the fat little guy, slam the bin on top of it, weigh it down with some heavy cook books (and, being fastidious, wash the floor where the mouse has scampered) and look at my girl's smiling eyes.
Ah, to be a hero to my kids again!