The Mouse is Out
Jake’s grandmother had come for her usual Spring visit and sat on her favorite chair. She pulled blue speckled yarn from the bag on the floor by her feet. Every year she sat in that chair and knitted something for everyone in Jake’s family, including their dog, Spike.
While Nana worked on her knitting, Jake’s mom prepared lunch and Jake worked on his homework at the computer in the family room. “Jake, when you finish your work we’ll go to Bernard’s Treat Shop and get some ice cream.”
Nana hoped that Jake would finish before lunch. She loved walking with Jake for a treat and telling him stories about when she was a girl. She told him the stories just to see the expression on his face.
Yesterday she told him about bathing in a tin tub in the middle of the front room. “And because it took so long to heat the water, we could only bathe once a week.”
“That’s cool, Nana,” Jake said. “Hey Mom, we should try that.”
“We have no problem heating our water,” his mother had said.
“Nana, if it was so hard to heat the water, it must have taken a long time to make bathwater for everyone.” Jake screwed up his face as he counted the hours it would take to bath a family with five children.
“Not really,” Nana said. “We all used the same water.”
Her reverie was broken by Jake’s yell from the family room. “Mom, the mouse is out, again.”
Nana’s eyes opened wide as she looked around the room hoping didn’t see the escaped rodent.
“Jake, I have to finish making lunch,” Mom yelled from the kitchen. “Did you jiggle it before you started?”
Jiggling, Nana thought, I’ve never known jiggling to keep a mouse anywhere.
“Yes, but it’s out anyway,” Jake said.
Nana leaned over and snatched up her bag from the floor.
“Well jiggle it again,” Mom said.
“That won’t work, it’s already out.”
“Just leave it for now and get ready for lunch. Dad will take care of it when he gets home.”
Nana listened to this conversation, but couldn’t believe her ears. How can we have lunch with a mouse running around? She had her bag in her lap, was holding her feet up, and searched every corner of the room from her chair.
Before long, Dad came home and helped Mom put the food on the table. It was Nana’s favorite, tomato soup made with milk in it and grilled cheese sandwiches. Mom used extra butter to make the bread crispy.
“Dad, the mouse is out again.” Jake said.
“Did you jiggle it,’ Dad said.
Jiggle it! Why do these people think jiggling is going to take care of a mouse?
“I did but that didn’t help at all. Can’t we just get a new one?”
“I’ve got to go back to the office. I’ll pick up a new one on my way home.”
A new mouse! You haven’t caught the old one yet.
After lunch Jake went out to play with his friends, Dad went back to work, and Mom cleaned up the kitchen. Nana returned to her favorite chair. She tried to knit but couldn’t relax. She kept looking around the room for the mouse that no one seemed to be concerned about.
Am I the only person in the house who cares that a mouse was running around loose?
Enough! I’ll take care of it myself!
Nana put her knitting away and went to the kitchen for a broom. She spent rest of the day hunting the escaped mouse. No one seemed notice when she swept behind the curtains or under the beds.
Nana was practically on her hands and knees shoving the broom under the couch.
“Did you lose something?” Dad asked coming through the door.
“Just a mouse,” Nana said and continued sweeping.
Dad gave Nana a questioning look, but didn’t say anything. He asked her about Jake. She pointed toward the back yard.
Dad poked his head out of the back door. “Hey Jake, I’ve got your new mouse.”
Nana stood, staring at him. I haven’t caught the first one yet. Now we have two?
She was shocked when Dad and Jake walked into the dining room and turned the bag upside down right there on the dining room table. Holding the broom like a bat, Nana stepped up to the table. She was confused to see a small plastic box with buttons and a long cord fall from the bag.
“What’s that?” she asked bending over the table trying to make sense of what she saw.
“That’s our new mouse,” Jake said. “With any luck, this one won’t go out for a very long time.”