In which my Canine Companions Desert Me over a Rat. . .

Thursday, July 22, 2010

After art class on Sunday where my daughter and I made really cool garden globes we felt inspired to work in the garden. We stopped at Home Depot and got some plants, and then set about weeding, planting, edging, and so on.

As my daughter was watering the strawberries on the topsy turvey, a big spider suddenly appeared. To say she hates spiders is a huge understatement. She screamed, and screamed, and screamed. I could see the goose bumps on her arms from 100 feet away. I got her in the house and killed the spider. OK, I couldn’t really find the spider, so I told her I killed it so she’d come back out. A little mommy magic goes a long way.

I got to work on the shed. It’s one of those plastic ones that never seems to stay together right. After a few minutes of pushing and prodding, I decided I’d have to take everything out of it and put all the pieces back together. As I pulled a box out from the back, a huge tree rat came bounding out. This may sound familiar, because something similar happened a couple of years ago so you’d think I would be prepared for the wildlife in the yard. But no. I screamed like a cartoon character, loud enough to wake the dead, or at least run off the rat. Or so I hoped.

This set my daughter off who screamed and ran in the house. And my faithful canine companions? They ran and hid under the dining room table. Thanks, guys. (Actually I think they were pretty smart- I wanted to hide under the table too at that point!)

This shed is right up against the fence of my neighbor’s house. About 20 seconds after I screamed, their bedroom window opened and my friend shouted, “Are you OK?” Now I was feeling a bit sheepish. I told her I was fine and a rat had startled me. She told me she was glad I was OK, because she’d just got out of the shower and if I needed help she’d be running down with nothing but a towel on!

She told me later, “The funniest thing about yesterday was that I had just gotten out of the shower and my husband had just jumped in. We heard the screaming over the rat and both just froze and stared at each other for 5 seconds. I was thinking either a rabid coyote had gotten into the yard (Coyotes Gone Wild!) or a mad man had entered your house and trying to kill everyone since your husband wasn’t home. So then I figured I should at least grab a towel if I was going to rescue you guys. My husband was scrambling to get out of the shower while I ran to the window to see if you would answer me. It was like a Bugs Bunny Cartoon in the bedroom! We laughed about that last night because we looked so ridiculous.” Thank God for good neighbors! And mine are awesome.

About the time my adrenaline had calmed down, my husband and son got home. I rushed to tell them the story, but they seemed a little nonplussed about the whole thing. My husband went out and helped me fix the shed, and then sat down on a fake rock we have next to the shed covering our sprinkler valves. That stupid rat must have been hiding behind that rock because the rat shot out from behind the rock, with me jumping up and down and screaming, “There it is! There it is! Get it! Get it!” The rat took off under our fountain rocks and my husband never even saw it. And now he keeps reminding me about an “alleged” rat. Alleged rats do not make me scream. Only real ones.

The neighbors (now dressed) came to look over their fence and the crazy woman being stalked by rats (I guess that’s me). We chatted for a while. . . and then my daughter encountered a worm in the soil where she was planting lantana and went into more screaming.

That was it. Enough screaming, spiders, rats, and worms. It was time to go in, get cleaned up, and have dinner. I am reminded of the scene in the second Indiana Jones movie where Willy screams at every horrible dinner dish she encounters. Who knew gardening was not for the feint of heart?

The dogs came back out after all the commotion. I can only assume the rat was no danger to me or they would have been there to protect me. Right?


Mama Dash said...

hahaha! you had me laughing out loud! at least you know you have great neighbors who are looking out for you :)

Tiffany said...

I know, I'm lucky! GLad you founhd it funny. It is now, but it didn't seem so funny at the time. . .

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