I’m no Steinbeck as you all well know after reading my posts. I’m sure I have caused a many English teachers countless sleepless nights after reading my writings. I’m often asked ” do you dream in English or Spanish?” And the truth is , I dream, think and talk “Spanglish” , that wonderful language where half of your words come out in English and the other in Spanish or simply you mix both languages to create a word of your own invention. And….I’m sorry to say, since I moved to a Spanish speaking country just at that moment in my life when my brain has suddenly decided to become a geriatric brain , my ramblings are not likely to become any better or more grammatically correct. My heart really aches when i think of all the toss and turning Shakespeare and Cervantes must be doing because of me.
But…..I digress……as you all know, I’m a big animal lover, my friends love the story of how I tried to save the scorpion that bit me BEFORE I woke up Norman to tell him that half my face was paralyzed, I take spiders the size of my hand and calmly explain to them as I guide them off my property to not comeback or next time it might be the other inhabitants of my house who they meet at the back porch, and I would most likely be hospitable to a 6 foot Terciopelo and her family but……GULP…..I will say it now……I HATE MICE…..not your nice little, cute, pet shop variety of mice, but the large, black, 10 foot tail mouse…….I would much rather face a hungry lion than a mouse in my laundry room, which is exactly what happened that fateful day a few weeks ago.
Until that day, my method of catching and disposing of these wonderful God’s creatures was to set a trap so humane that it is the equivalent of a 4 star hotel, a large enclosure with cheese and other appetizing delicacies where the only thing missing is a comfortable foam mattress. My rodent friends would spend the night nibbling on cheese waiting for the dawn, when my husband would dutifully walk a few feet to the jungle behind my house and release the wretched creatures who would turn around and make it back to the house before my husband did and proceed to tell all their friend about this most amazing place where you could sleep comfortably while gorging yourself on fresh cheese before being taken for a stroll in the woods. It was not unusual to find my Tico friends holding their belly rolling on the floor while they saw Norman’s method of disposing of the mice, after all, they come from household where at the tender age of 3 you are taught to use a “cuchillo” to take care of uninvited house guests.
But going back to that day, I was happily going about doing household chores, when, I notice one of my dogs laying at the entrance of the kitchen intently staring at an inert black object on the floor a few inches away from her. As I cautiously inch my way forward I realize in total horror that it is a dead mouse whose violent death was undoubtedly caused by my dog. Now, you might think I embraced this wonderful opportunity life was giving me to finally “man up” and immerse myself totally in the local culture by just casually picking the rodent by the tail and dumping it in the garbage ,but you could not be more wrong. I, of the bra-burning era, ran as fast as my legs could take me away from the mouse, through the garage door and outside the house where I planned to grab the first male I saw (sorry Gloria and Angela (my friends who grew up in the 60’s know exactly who I’m talking about))age unimportant,only requirement was a healthy amount of testosterone.
Which is when my unfortunate friend Paul happened to drive by. Now, you must remember this was early in the morning before I had the time to put on my “outside” appearance,so it is a testimony to my friend’s upbringing that he did not accelerate away from the crazed woman running outside screaming while sporting a good dose of bed hair. As I rambled about the mouse and the dog, he maintained a smile on his face while I could see his brain trying to figure out whether a)he could restrain me himself if necessary or b) how soon he should call the men in the white coats.
To my relief, my friend agreed to come in and dispose of the unwanted body on my kitchen floor so in we came through the garage into the house and as we turned into the kitchen, there was……..nothing on the floor except my killer dog laying placidly sleeping. I feverishly starting searching the house for the dead mouse, assuring Paul that the mouse had not been a figment of my imagination and to his credit he managed to keep his equanimity as he calculated out how fast he could get out of my house.
With him gone, my attention turned to my dog Nina. Now, this is my crazy dog and everyone who knows her agrees she is missing a few screws. When I first saw her she was PLAYING on the shoulder of I95 in Miami, a 10 lane expressway,unaware of the thousands of cars speeding right by her. Now, 10 years later she still has not figured out that the black snake teasing her is her tail. So, with the mouse having disappeared there was only one explanation, SHE HAD SWALLOWED THE WHOLE MOUSE HEAD AND ALL, and as I looked at her in horror I was already planning on how I was never, ever again getting anywhere near her mouth.
As the hours passed and there was no sign of the mouse, I started to relax even as I mentally planned how I could place a restraining order on Nina so she could never come within 10 feet of me. I was happily cooking in mid afternoon that same day when I happened to glance towards the almost never used front room and notice an unusual object laying on one of the sofas…..as I inched very cautiously towards the sofa my horrified brain understood that the object in mention was….yes, you guessed it, the missing mouse. Needless to say, my husband had never and will probably never be greeted so ebulliently when he came home later that day.
Time has passed, Nina is allowed near me, the mouse is still dead, and, I am happy to report there is a rumor that my friend might stop taking the long way into town and might start driving past my house again………….