Saturday, July 29, 2017


A last picture of the old farmhouse before the rapeseed is cut

 This post contains semi-graphic material that may be distasteful to some. For mature readers only.

“We’ll have to get on the road early,” said Mike last Sunday night.

“Really?” I complained. (It’s not that I mind getting up – not at all. I mind getting dressed and getting to work.)

“Yes,” he said. “We’ll want to get the watering done at the farm before it gets hot. And there’s no air conditioning in the old truck.”

I rolled out of bed at 5:40 and Mike was close behind. We packed food, supplies, and the dogs into the old Silverado and were on the road by 7:45. Bess didn’t much want to let me ride “shotgun.” Mike had to pull her over. Nellie stretched out behind the seat and looked nervous. But they know the drill and where we’re going and basically they’re fine with it.

Lovely maroon hollyhock
Now for my gruesome tale. A couple of weeks ago – before company arrived – I complained to Mike that the lower cupboard between stove and refrigerator seemed to have an odor, like dead mouse. Mike said he didn’t smell anything. I knew the mouse (if mouse there be) wasn’t in the cupboard but likely behind the stove. Clearly Mike wasn’t too interested and I moved on, having other pressing things to take care of.

Rapeseed will soon be harvested
Well, as we left for town, we replaced the traps in the kitchen, always one on either side of the stove – our most successful trapping spots. My first duty when we arrive back at the farmhouse – even before turning on the modem – is to check the mousetraps. And the first thing I noticed was that the trap between the stove and the fridge was missing! “That’s not good,” said Mike. And as soon as he put down the load he was carrying, he pulled the drawer out from under the stove, retrieved an empty trap, and vacuumed the area. He seemed to think the problem was solved and returned to unloading the pick-up.

Evening light
But – I wasn’t convinced. Specks of blood on the floor indicated a mighty struggle had ensued in this place. I cleaned with “Clorox Clean-Up” and decided further investigation was warranted.

Gathering a flashlight, my long-handled Swiffer duster, AND my courage, I began to poke around under the stove. “I already did that,” said Mike defensively. But I was not deterred. A metal part hangs down almost to the floor right in the center of the back of the stove. I could see something behind it, and I maneuvered my duster this way and that until I pulled out another trap, this one occupied by a petrified mouse. We couldn’t recall that another trap had gone missing, but obviously it had, and this might have been the source of the odor I had detected. And this means that the quarry from the trap Mike retrieved managed to escape. Traps in these spots will be more substantial in future. KW

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