(Note: I’ve got the nagging feeling I’ve written about this before but that may be because I’ve told the story before. I’ve searched former posts for it and haven’t found it but the nagging feeling persists. Sorry, then, if this is a repeat. If it is, I prefer to think of it as a revision.)
One night, when I was in Albania, I went to war with a mouse.
I don’t remember why I was in the hotel, but because it was my home away from home I must have been in the capital getting my monthly stipend. I also don’t remember why I had a box of cookies but they were either from a care package or I was returning to Albania after my three weeks in Washington D.C.
As I was going to bed I remember seeing a mouse scurry away. I didn’t think much of it because I chased him away. Then, in the middle of the night when I was either half asleep or half awake I heard something tapping on cardboard. I realized the mouse was after my cookies.
I turned on the light and picked up my bag. I swatted at the mouse but it did one of the best jumps I’ve ever seen. It leaped out of the bag, one hopped on the floor and flew into my pillow.
Because I was half-asleep or half-awake and was protecting my cookies. I picked up the pillow and tried to bludgeon the mouse to death inside my pillow.
I then got the brilliant idea of flushing it down the toilet. Part of my brain also felt I could contain it in the bathroom. I carried my pillow to the bathroom and tried to simultaneously bludgeon the mouse and dump it in the toilet. It his the toilet, hopped out and disappeared into the wall.
I moved the cookies lower and zipped the bag closed. Once I was convinced my cookies were secure, I went back to sleep using my bludgeoned pillow.
Some time in the middle of the night when I was either half asleep or half awake, I felt the mouse run across me as a kind of final “I’m still here, human” gesture. For some reason that didn’t bather me and I fell asleep.
In the end, because the cookies were saved, I considered that war a draw. I only hope I’ve outlived the mouse. If I haven’t, at least I got to eat the cookies.