It’s that time of year again. The time of year Disney films are made of—birds flit, squirrels scamper, and those blasted, beloved mice gather materials to sew a lovely dress for the princess-to-be. If my princess status is dependent on having a good relationship with mice, I’m doomed to be the stepsister.
About a week ago, I waited in the car, as most parents of teenagers are prone to do. Foster is the lawn boy for our local dentist, and I often take him to his job, sit in my vehicle and read a book or write this article to you. It’s not a bad gig, really. There’s a shady spot to park, and it gives me some introvert time.
Except, you can’t have introvert time unless you’re actually alone.
There I was, deeply absorbed in Kiera Cass’s The Selection, when I heard the pitter-pat of little feet scurry above my head. At first I thought it was a squirrel on my roof . . . but then I heard it below me. Then beside me. Something—or someone—was in my car with me.
That’s when I recalled the chewed bits of paper I’d recently found in my trunk. I knew it was a local country mouse, but I assumed he’d just stopped by on his way to visit his church cousins. I had no idea he’d taken up residence.
All this information skitted through my mind in a fraction of a second, and I was out of my car faster than you can say Mouseketeer three times fast.
I called my husband. “Get in your car right now. You have to come get me.”
“There’s a mouse in my car, and he’s going to kill me.”
Long pause. Then, “You want to just leave your car in town?”
“No!” (Duh.) “I want you to drive it home. We can switch cars.”
Another long pause. “A mouse will not kill you.”
Now, calm Renae is actually quite reasonable, and able to do without many things she wants. But hysterical Renae is a different animal entirely. I wasn’t about to get back in that car, and I wasn’t about to back down from this fight for my life.
“Come. Get. Me. Now,” I whispered, because a whisper can be so much more powerful than a scream, don’t you think?
He laughed. Seriously. Some Prince Charming he is. It really doesn’t pay to be the stepsister in a mouse story.
“You’ll be fine. He’s probably been in there for months without you knowing. We’ll set a trap for him when you get home. I love you.” He listened to my tears and pleas for a few minutes, tried to reassure me, and eventually we hung up.
I opened my car door, got out all my reading supplies, sat down at the nice picnic table on my dentist’s patio, and waited for Foster to finish mowing. He doesn’t have his license yet, only his permit, but I was seriously considering letting him drive home alone. He finished his job, patiently listened to my story, and said, “Come on, Mom. It’ll be okay. I’ll drive.”
At that point I just wanted a hot bath and a Valium. Long story short, I made it home. Alive. The mouse wasn’t so lucky. He was found in my trunk-trap the next morning. Death by honey bread. As for Prince Charming, he tried to pay penance with a few dozen fresh-cut roses, which were waiting for me when I got home. He says he’d already picked them from our yard before I called, but I’m not buying it.
Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly-perfect children, and far too many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com.