Exactly 2 years 1 month and 2 day ago.. I woke up on my 40th birthday, with the running of a small mouse over my naked back! There had been the odd sounds..but until that very moment, I had had no actual proof that a rodent had infested my room.. and I sleep on the floor on a futon-mattress (due to my bad back). For the next few weeks it was a disturbed time.. sleeping downstairs in the sitting room, on the sofa etc. Eventually the mouse went away (probably due to the ..ahem poison we carefully placed in corners of my bedroom).
Until the day before Christmas eve.. 5 days ago, that is!
Yeap, while I was doing this very blog (one about neighbours?) I heard scratching sounds by the wall..near the room’s fireplace (where my pagan altar is). I was disturbed several times that night…and around 5am while I watched in full room light, a mouse peeped out from just behind a potted plant next to the altar! Needless to say, irritably, I packed my beddings and went to sleep on the single bed in the spare room. Next day I went to stay with my partner for Christmas of course…(followed by the events of bad back injury etc). Today I returned, and while checking …the same mouse ran out from under one cupboard ..across the floor (2 meters) and under my altar!
There were 3 sets of plastic containers on various parts of the room floor.. with mouse-poison (you know the stuff.. greenish coloured grains).. which had been placed there few days ago by my mother and sister.. But obviously, it hadn’t worked! The mouse was still there, having left evidence of chewing bits of news paper and carpet in corners!
Am in the small room tonight.. nursing a bad back that’s been through the hands of an osteopath and quite raw.. but I’ve taken care to mix grated cheddar cheese with each of the poisoned grain-packs in my room floor. Hopefully it will entice the rodent forward. It’s some sort of anti-coagulant. (Interestingly, on the box it came from..there are clear instructions on what sort of treatment medical doctors should give a human.. if a human accidentally ingests the poison!)
The thing is.. I have had discussions with people…. They ask of me- how could a nature loving pagan like me think of killing a mouse?! Such an argument can only come from a person who never had a mouse run over their back in the early hours of the morning! My childhood was in an ordinary urban household near crowded capital in Sri Lanka- where I’ve seen dangerous snakes fall from the roof into the house (once into my sister’s cot), or very large rats run about the house (and some get entombed into the walls by my grandmother who seals their burrows!). Some keep mice as pets, yes. But I don’t have to- and I don’t have to let them run about my back either.
Even in Hindu mythology, the mouse / rat is a demon in disguise who attacked the elephant headed god Ganesh..who promptly tamed the demon and made it his personal `vehicle’! (That’s why you always see Lord Ganesh seated on a large mouse!)
2 years ago I had the problem, and it has returned- demon strikes back?! But then I have poisoned grains just under the altar. Now that one is weird even for me.. an actual tool of death, right under my sacred place. But that’s the fireplace…through which the mouse is coming out. In some ways, I see it as my sacred space being invaded by a demon… or rather, the mouse is a symbol of an alien unwanted energy trying to permeate my inner sanctum. So I will fight it.. in the way best can.. and I’ll tell you when I have won!