You may recall that about this time last year we had our first encounter with creatures of the basement. Well, our issues with our “neighbours” have continued. I can only assume that they are a super-mutant breed that defies science, too numberous to vanquish, or incredibly lucky. My tactic lately has been to ignore them and perhaps bore them into a desire to move on.
On Saturday evening, I was upstairs talking to Dolittle when Rainbow screamed in the office below. We came running downstairs to find her in the hall pointing at the floor. There, leisurely sauntering down the floor as if out for an evening stroll and he owned the place, was “a neighbour.” This was our first face to face encounter.
“Don’t kill him!” one of my girls demanded. “Awww, he’s so cute,” said the other.
I now, of course, find myself in the uncomfortable position of having to decide in front of my children whether to pommel the varmint who steals our chocolate, or channel Snow White and be one with the wildlife. Uncertainty hangs in the air. I decide to buy time and trap him in Dolittle’s boot.
“Don’t kill him!” they repeat.
Clearly the decision has been made for me.
I lift up the boot and peer under. He is lying on his back, paws curled up on his chest, playing dead. Clever bugger. He clearly has aspirations for movie roles. Much ooo-ing and awww-ing ensues over his performance. I abandon the boot and replace it with an ice cream container. I know I must act fact before his theatrical accolades turn into pleas of “Can we keep him?” A plan is hatched to take him to the park and set him free.
I slip a dustpan under the container and put on my coat. Rainbow, expecting this may be a rouse to vanquish the little actor privately, decides to come with me. Together we walk to the park and release him under a tree. He is no longer playing dead and sits there in some kind of amazed shock.
“I think it’s too cold out here for him,” Rainbow laments. I hurry her back in the direction of home. I know no good came of this. If we linger, she’ll have me knitting him slippers before bedtime.
“He was very cute,” she remarks. “Promise me you won’t kill any others?”
“I promise if I find any others leisurely strolling down the hallway, I will treat them in similar fashion,” I reply. It was a promise I think we all can live with.
Until next time, neighbours. Until next time.