Was it really over a decade ago that I lived on Rippingham Road and could be found riding the Finglands or Magic Bus carefully holding a little humane mouse trap in hand? I’d get off at Platt Fields and release the little rodent into the park before continuing on to my uni lectures. Trap, bus ride, release, was quite a regular occurrence and plenty of furry pests acquired a new stomping ground until the mice that remained in the house went too far.
The day I discovered my collection of platform trainers, pointy patent stilettos and stompy dredd boots gnawed on, chewed up and used as mouse bedding was the day the war against mice started. I have no more tolerance for the little creatures.
Fast forward to the present.
Every Easter is an exciting time for me over here in the States. Usually the Cadbury’s chocolate on the shelves is manufactured under license by Hershey’s, and is horrid. It doesn’t taste the same at all and is waxy. Easter is the only time of year that I can find proper English Cadbury’s that tastes right and melts in the mouth. If I’m lucky and time it right I can hit the after Easter sales and create myself a little hoard of sweet goodness to savour for weeks. Picking careful moments when the kids aren’t around I enjoy quiet moments alone with my stash and think of England. I don’t share my chocolate treasures. Mine.
Well, rarely I share. Very rarely. The night before preschool photos I did bribe Sam with half a creme egg to get him to wash his hair properly and avoid the usual screaming, splashing, and kicking tantrum. I was very careful not to divulge where I kept this tasty treat, or that I had more hidden away. No, no more where that came from, sorry Sam.
I definitely, unequivocally, do not share with mice.
After spending a morning and an afternoon daydreaming about the peaceful communion with a creme egg and a cup of coffee (I also really like a creme egg and vodka combo) that I was going to enjoy once quiet reigned in the house after the kids had gone to bed, you can imagine how shocked I was when I reached up high to the hiding place and my fingers searched around in the box, but did not grasp a nice firm, perfectly foil wrapped treasure. They met loose shiny shards and a chocolate carcass instead. I was certain that I’d been sneaky enough to keep my stash secret from the boy, but my first thought was “SAM!” Then, peering morbidly at the sad remains like an engrossed rubber necker at the scene of a traffic accident I saw the tell tale rodent gnawing, and droppings.
Last night the peanut butter baited traps were laid.
This morning I found the first casualty of battle.