I know some people like critters--mice, rats, possums, squirrels--but they drive me insane. Maybe it's the endless battles trying to keep them out of my garden or from attacking my chickens. And then there's the issue explore in this excellent personal narrative by 6th grader Ivy B. It's a long read, but definitely worth it!
In the walls!
My soft pillow supported my head. The warmth of my blanket overpowered the cold air conditioning as the taste of minty toothpaste flavored my mouth. All of the sudden the faintest scratching sound jolted me from my bed and sent me running to the leather black couch. My dads yelling for baseball boomed in the air.
“Did you hear anything?” I said to my dad.
“No…..” my dad replied.
Of course he didn't hear anything. The large T.V was definitely louder than a faint scratching sound. I believed him anyway and made my way back to my bed. As i pulled the covers over my body the sound came again but louder. I pounced of my bed and stared at the loud wall. I was definitely not imaging this… I ran out of my room and closed the door. I was not sleeping in there. I bunched up a blanket and joined the dogs on the other couch.
A week past and i never heard the noise again. I was sitting on my bed one Saturday morning. Suddenly i saw something move outside my window in the corner of my eye. I stopped what i was doing and pressed my face against the window to see what it was. A RACCOON! The raccoon hopped on the smooth wood porch and began munching on my dogs dog food. I leaped up and ran to my dad who was again watching baseball in the living room.
“Dad, there is a raccoon on the back porch.” I screamed.
My dad hopped of the couch a quickly grabbed my brothers sad, dirty, deflated, soccer ball. He ran outside while i ran back to my window to witness the action. BAM! The raccoon scrambled to his feet and ran behind a couple cardboard boxes. My dad ran to catch the soccer ball that he aggressively threw at the poor raccoon. He ran back then took one peak and signaled me to come outside. I scheduled to my feet and ran to the back porch. I peeked over the cardboard boxes to find a tiny harmless raccoon. This poor raccoon has been the one making noises inside my walls!!!? We left the raccoon alone and me and my and and I went back inside. A couple hours later i decided i would check on the raccoon and see if its still there. It out to be gone by now….right? I went back outside to the cardboard boxes. I once again peered over the Mud brown cardboard boxes. What? The raccoon was still there! It had not moved at all. The only movement was its shivering against the cold wind. I ignored it and went to bed. I woke up the next morning and the raccoon was gone. Since now my dad knew that there was a giant raccoon roaming around, he wanted to be more careful so he bought a giant rodent trap. He clutched the metal cage in his sweaty palms and harshly placed it on the ground.
“AHHHH Ivy. this will solve all your problems.”
I nodded confusingly as he trudged it back down the stairs and into the crawl space.
A couple days later my dad checked the trap. Expecting there to be raccoon, but it wasn’t a raccoon…...A rat! A hairy scaly tailed rat. Just a glance at its ugly scaly tail made me gag. It barred it ran around the cage frantically, panicking as I ran back inside. Day after day we began catching only rats. Drowning them, poisoning them and starving them. I was glad to be ride of them but it hurt to kill them. One day the noises stopped. Me and my dad assumed that the rats were gone since we had caught so many. Finally i could relax. No more scary scratchy noises. I came home one evening to a house that smelled of rotting food. Immediately I thought it was the trash so i took the trash out, but when i returned to the house it still smells horrid. When my dad got home he could smell it too! He instantly check the trap.
“ IVY you need to see this!”.
My dad yelled. I ran to the crawl space where my dad was disgustingly holding the rat trap where a dead maggoty rat was hanging dead. Now this was even more disgusting. The smell was horrible we threw it away and went back inside. The smell of the house was obviously better, but after that we just stopped catching rats.
Through another phase of silence. Silence proceed me for a good week or so until…. It came again.
“ DAD CHECK THE THE TRAP!”.
My dad response.
“ I don't know. Check it”
My dad went down to the trap.
“IVY GET OVER HERE NOW!”.
Oh great. What is it now...I ran down to my dad. Inside the trap….was a big…..smelly…..POSSUM! Gosh we have horrible animal problems. We called animal control, but they told us that they said they wouldn't take it for some reason so they left it to us. Me and my dad both hopped in the car and and drove to s near bike park. We pulled into the empty parking lot and got the trap out of the car. The grass was damp and the stars had come out. My dad opened the trap. The possum sprinted out of the trap. Finally freedom< is what the possum probably thought. Me and my dad returned to a silent home. No more scritch scratch. just Me my bed and my pillow. I snuggled in tight to my bed. My hands on the side of my body while nothing but the sound of air echoed in the room. I closed my and eyes and ………...SRICCCCHHHHH SCCCCRATTTTCH. Oh well here we go again.