So my parents and I are sitting out on the back patio the first night they were here, drinking iced water and talking, when something runs along the top of the wall in our back yard. It was a rat. Well, at the time I thought it was a mouse, but it seemed rather large for a mouse. My parents told me I should really put out some traps and put a stop to this, but I explained that traps need to then be emptied, or at the least disposed of, and I wasn't interesed in that since the mice (rats) weren't in my backyard anymore. But the thrill of the chase was already growing, so I went to the garage and found the last two mouse traps that I had purchased last fall. (Remember that saga?)
My parents baited and set the traps, but got nothing the first night. We released the traps before we went to bed because I didn't want the dog to be involved in this in any way. The next night, Stuart and I went out and my parents stayed here with the kids. When we came home, my mom and dad were smiling and mysteriously said, "We have something for you . . . ." At that, the kids yelled "WE GOT ONE!" and we all went to check it out. It was dark by now, so my mom had a flashlight, and she shined it on the ground . . . . at nothing. "It was right there . . . . " she said, and then we heard a scuffle, and the distinct sound of something slapping a small piece of wood against the ground. I, of course, screamed and ran into the house. I may have knocked over the children on the way - I can't be sure about that. The only thing I knew was that (a) there was something in the trap, and (b) it was not dead. Let me tell you, I was freaked right out.
I'll spare you the gory details, but I will tell you how it ended - my dad cornered the rodent in front of my neighbor's house (!!!) and finished him off. The next night, my dad rigged up a tricky contraption - he tied the two traps together, and then attached the string to a branch of the tree by the wall, so that once we got another one, it would not run away. (Also, it would stay out of the dog's reach. I was quite concerned about the dog's involvement in the whole situation.) We got two more, then the traps stayed empty for the next three nights.
The PS to this story came about four days after my parents left. You know that I will not be using those traps again (I refuse to unload a trap, so I just throw the whole thing away) but my parents thought that they might want to have another go at it on the next visit, so my dad cleaned off all the rodent cooties (and then washed his hands with soap) and I put the empty trap in the garage. Four days later, Samuel was out there looking for something (I didn't ask what) and found the trap and brought it in the house to show me. "Mom! Mom! I found this IN THE GARAGE." He got to Stuart first, and Stuart told him to go wash his hands. With soap. About ten minutes later, Sally tells me that there is a mouse trap in the bathroom. (Seriously.) I found Samuel, and told him to (1) put the mouse trap back where he found it in the garage, then (2) wash his hands with soap and then wash them second time. With soap. Then I followed him and opened all the doors because I didn't want any mouse trap cooties on the door knobs.
I think I'll just go spray off those door knobs with lysol again. Just to be sure those cooties are all gone.