The mouse was gone but it wasn’t the unwelcome guest I’m going to tell you about.
Life kind of settled for a bit. The one bad thing about this house was the large floor register which heated the rooms. The register was in the kitchen. It was always warm, but not uncomfortably so. I kind of liked it because it reminded me of the house where I grew up. I would come home after walking in the cold from the bus stop and stoop over the register, letting the heat build up under my dress to make a nice warm tent.
Then one morning while dressing my son to go to the babysitter’s house, I noticed the bottom of his feet were filled with blisters! I was horrified. He was a tough little guy and had a high tolerance for pain so I didn’t notice him favoring his feet while he was walking around. The doctor said the burns weren’t serious and there wasn’t much to do but put some cream on them and keep them covered/padded to help alleviate the pain…the pain my son didn’t seem to notice. But we watched him closely and I tried to keep him off his feet as much as possible.
But where did the burns come from? Had they come from that floor register? And how? And, if not, from where?
The question was never answered, but I began to sense something was “not quite right” within the walls of this house. Was there an unwelcome guest living with us?
In the meantime, the kids loved playing outdoors on the swing set when we were at home. I liked being able to watch them from the window above the sink, where I could also see the lilac tree which gave such beautiful blooms in the spring. It was one such spring like morning when the kids were swinging and I was cleaning. I glanced out the window and my heart sank! They were not on the swing set!
I hurried outside and my heart started beating again when I heard their voices. But they were behind the house where that big ditch was and a highway on the other side. I rushed to find them and there they were, standing like little ones do, slightly bent over, their hands on their knees as they stared at something…in the ditch.
“Look Mommy!” Little fingers pointed and I went to see what had caught their attention.
Rats! Big rats, larger than squirrels. Black rats, gray rats, nasty, terrifying rats!
I snatched them up and hurried through the back door to the safety of the kitchen, my heart pounding, my mouth too dry to even scream.
(The Unwelcome Guest – Part 3 coming soon)