Monday, November 14, 2016

The Nice Guy
   My mother taught us not to hurt rats or curse or call them names.  She insisted that we call the creature “mabait” instead of rat or mouse.  Mabait means ‘nice guy’ in English.  Some people chase rodents with a broom or any weapon around the house.  Mother said we are to dispose of the rodent inflicting as little pain as possible.  She said rodents are to be treated kindly or else they will retaliate by eating holes in your socks.  To emphasize the point, she said that even if all our socks are kept in the same drawer, the mouse will only eat the sock that belonged to whoever said something offensive.

      I have not had any encounter with a rodent since I was a child until this past Saturday.  I took out the garbage and failed to close the screen door.  A ‘mabait’ managed to slip through the door.  That night my daughter and I were watching television when she heard an unfamiliar sound.  She checked it out and found the mabait eating a hole in the loaf of bread laid out on top of the microwave.  The rodent ran off to hide.  We cleaned up the kitchen of exposed food and swore to never again leave dirty dishes on the sink. 

   That night, I was terrified the rodent would eat holes in our clothes.  We got too careful about closing our bedroom doors while I figure out what to do to get the mouse out.  The next morning, Sunday, I went to my religious meeting.  I picked up an elderly member on the way.  During the ride, I mentioned my problem with the mabait.  She suggested a product I have not heard of before, a kind of glue that sticks to rodents not kill it.  After the meeting I went looking for that glue.  I found it and laid it around the house that night.

   Overnight, the mabait has been caught.  I didn’t think it would be so quick.  Over breakfast, I marveled at the efficiency of the glue and reminded myself to thank the sister for bringing it to my attention.  I heard the mabait make some baby noise, it was just a baby, judging by its size.  I thought it was trying to ask for help.  I had the urge to buy it a cage and make it a pet.  My daughter feared that I might do just that.  I put it in a bag and dropped it in the trash outside.  I leave its future in God’s hands.

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