Sunday, April 30, 2006

Death stalks Mt. Hermon

Thursday night my housemate Ethan discovered a renegade rat in his room. And then proceeded to bludgeon it to death with my walking stick. I may never recover and I didn’t even witness the event.

Brian, Laura, Joanna, Courtney and I were all minding our own business in the kitchen when Ethan charged into the room to announce the presence of the intruder. Brian immediately joined him in the chase and from the kitchen we could hear thumps, bangs, and masculine hunting noises (such as the occasional primal grunt). Courtney had gone with to watch and encourage, and ran back and forth between the apartment and the kitchen with reports – “it jumped into his bed!” “They’ve got it cornered!” etc. Eventually all was quiet. Then, because boys really never do grow up, Ethan decided to bring his treasure into the kitchen to show us all. Thank you, Ethan.

But wait! The story doesn’t end there. Last night there was another rat execution at Mt. Hermon. This time the nasty little bugger made an appearance at a Farewell Courtney (heading back to the States to recover from Typhoid Fever) dinner party we were having. It was a warm evening so we had all the food on the table in the sunroom and we were sitting outside on the porch. Suddenly, Joe looked up and nonchalantly commented “hey, look at the little mouse.” Little mouse? Little mouse? Yeah right. Big honking rat racing across the floor and eyeing the table of goodies with his beady little eyes.

Ethan was off somewhere so it was up to Brian and Joe to dispatch the rodent (the ladies of the group being otherwise occupied standing on chairs and screaming). Brian grabbed the walking stick. Joe grabbed a paintbrush. I’m not making this up—the closest thing at hand was a large paintbrush that he brandished ferociously as he charged into the fray. They cornered the rat behind a potted plant and Brian got in a lucky whack with the stick. Good bye rat.

Except that after they had heaved the carcass over the back fence, Brian got an attack of conscience revolving around whether it was really dead. What if it was only wounded and therefore suffering? So, in the dark, he climbed over and around our barbed wire fence to find the rat and put it out of its misery.

As funny as these stories are in hindsight, I am getting really sick of the whole rat situation. I spent three hours on Saturday cleaning and rat-proofing the kitchen as much as I could. I bleached the counters, washed everything we ever even think of eating off of and put all items of food in plastic containers. But there’s still an enormous hole to the outside behind the refrigerator and inevitably there are crumbs and whatnot for rat snacking. Sigh. I’m counting the days till June.


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