Dad was taking off his shoes getting ready to stretch out on the couch and watch football.
"KittyCat is staring at the baseboard," Mom said.
Dad kinda shrugged, like that’s not something he needs to reply to.
Mom said a little louder and slower, "KittyCat – is – staring – at – the - baseboard."
By this time comfy on the couch, Dad raised his head a bit, just to show he was listening. Then, I guess cuz Mom sounded serious, he acted more interested. "...And?"
"AND." Mom said that kinda loud, like it was real important. "And that means he smells a mouse."
"Oh, he was probably asleep and was just facing that way when he woke up."
"Look at him," Mom said. Now her tone was real flat, and I just had to look at her to see if she was getting ticked
"He’s staring off into space, probably he has nothing else to do."
It’s a good thing Mom doesn't throw things. Well, she does, but it’s words. They’re not TV bad words but if they were heavy or sharp things, they’d bonk a guy pretty hard. But this time she took a deep breath, cuz she and two friends had made a deal they'd be nice to people. “A minute ago he acted exactly like he does when he smells a mouse,” she said.
“Weather’s changing," Dad said. "Could be he can smell one under the house.”
“Under the house is just under the floor, and under the floor is almost on the floor, and on the floor is like mice running all over the house.”
It really bugs Dad when Mom connects dots that aren't even dots yet. But I guess he could tell she was upset, so he made a joke. “I think if you get enough mice eating them, you don’t need to worry about termites” Dad’s smile looked as big as a painted clown’s.
Mom didn't smile at all. “Fine, she said. We’re overdue for a termite inspection anyway, so I’ll call tomorrow, and while they’re here they can exterminate the mice.”
Dad can do math in his head real fast. “I’ll get bait and put it out tomorrow,” he said. “In the morning,” he added, cuz Mom was already reaching for the phone book. “First thing in the morning.” He gave her that honest-you-can-believe-me look.
So fall is here, and the big fuzzy moths disappeared, grasshoppers have left, crickets are almost gone, and now the mice are zapped. My toys are boring. Vondelle moved away, and I only see Snookie when Aunt Pen comes over.
Well, I guess I can play at chasing leaves as they flutter off the trees. Flutter... Ha, ha. Thinking of mice and crickets, I almost forgot them. Look out birds.
(c) 2012 Bernice W. Simpson