What do you call excitement at your house? A fire truck, ambulance or police car rushing to your neighbor's house? A two car accident right in front of your driveway? Hearing gun shots nearby?
None of those apply to me... well, I take that back...
- When we lived in the country, we did hear gunshots quite often, particularly in the fall and spring (after all, this is Arkansas and there's not a fat squirrel safe when there's a man with a gun ~ and yes, they really eat them, but that's another blog). And one time someone who lived about 15 acres behind us was shooting an automatic weapon of some kind and we could hear bullets whizzing through our big oak tree near our house Uh, yes, we went inside AND called the Sheriff...
- And, right after we moved into this house we had a little, eensy, beensy problem with the 17 year old party girl across the street and after we called the local and very responsive police department, there were, much to the surprise of everyone up and down the street and much to the dismay of party girl, several police cars and police officers who practically took up residence on our block...
- Oh, yeah, and about the accident. Well, it wasn't in front of my house, it was literally IN my house. We lived in a house just about 5 doors down from where we live now and the adult neighbor across the street from that house asked his teenage son to go into the garage and start his car... which he did... but he also put the car in reverse...and he also stepped on the gas pedal...HARD...and voila! We had two garages...one built when the house was constructed and a brand new one thanks to the teenager who decided it might be a good idea to convert the front bedroom into another garage...
But, I digress. I was really talking about excitement and my UPS delivery person.
This, of course, is the Christmas season and I am doing Christmas shopping and I do a lot of shopping online. I am used to my UPS and FedEx delivery people putting the packages on the front porch, ringing the doorbell and heading back to the truck before I can even get to the door. As I am picking up my package, I am usually waving and yelling "hello!" to a moving truck.
Imagine my surprise yesterday when I opened my front door and my UPS delivery man was still standing there.
"You had a rat on your front porch," he said.
For lack of a better response, I said, "What?"
"You had a rat on your front porch. He ran over there under the drain spout. This time o' year their lookin' for warm places. He was right there by your front door. See, you can even see he left some droppings. I hate them things. Do you want me to kill him for you? If you've got a broom, I can kill him for you."
Yes, indeed, the rat left poop right there in the corner by the front door, proof positive. And I wasn't about to let an offer like that go without acceptance. And, although there were all kinds of really sarcastic responses going through my head, like No, of course, I don't have a broom because I like my house with dirt, dust and animal hair all over the floor, I simply put my hand on his shoulder and said, "If you'll kill him, I'll get the broom."
And, so the chase began, back and forth across the flower bed... Swish!...Whack!...a piece of the broom flew across the sidewalk. I was standing in the middle of the porch when Mr. UPS took his third Whack! and the rat turned quickly towards my direction, ran right across the porch in front of my feet and stopped underneath the glider bench that sits in front of the living room window. I stepped backwards ~ okay it was actually more like I jumped backwards and squealed (what a freakin' girl I am) ~ as Mr. UPS jumped in front of me, towards the rat and rammed the broom underneath the glider. The rat ran in the opposite direction to the other end of the porch and attempted to climb up and hide in the corner.
"I got him now!" Mr. UPS said.
Indeed he did. He gave one good Whack! and the rat stopped running and climbing, but managed to walk away from the house to the flower bed chased again by the ferocious broom. Again, Whack!. The rat stopped moving, but was twitching a little. Then, one more Whack! The rat was still.
Mr. UPS stopped, bent over and looked intently at the rat. After a few seconds he said, "I think I only knocked him out. Can I use this rock?" He put his hand on one of the decorative rocks in the flower bed.
"Use the rock," I responded. But as he lifted the rock, I averted my eyes. I didn't want a live rat, but I also didn't want to witness such a gruesome end.
I heard two Thuds...then "I got blood on the rock."
I opened my eyes and thought, Ewwwww! Thanks for sharing!, but I said out loud, "That's okay."
"Man, I hate them things," he repeated and then proceeded to tell me the story of when he was building his house and they came across a nest...Ewwww, ewwww, ewww...
When he was finished with his story, he handed me the broom and said, "I'll let you dispose of him."
I took the broom and thanked him...oh probably 10 times.
As he said, "You're welcome," he turned... jogged across the lawn...his manly muscles rippling beneath his brown shirt sleeves... headed back to the big, brown truck...into the sunset...too much??
I did dispose of the dead rat but it's hard to do when you are trying really hard not to look at a crushed rat skull. I got a plastic grocery bag and a long pair of BBQ tongs. I picked him by the tail with the tongs (at this point thinking that if he even twitched I would drop him like a hot potato, scream and do a little horsey trot back to the house) and dropped him in the bag. Then I tied the bag closed with two knots and dropped the bag into the trash can.
So, now I will answer your questions before you ask them...
- No, my neighborhood is not filthy. I think the rat came from the field that separates us from the Kroger supermarket behind our house
- Yes, I am sure it was a rat and not a mouse. Very fat, very long tail
- Yes, I'm sure it was dead, even though I tried not to look
- Yes, I suppose it could have been someone's pet, but it's not now
- Yes, I tied the burial bag really, really tight... just in case
- And, Gawd no, I did not take pictures... you are just sick...