On the Ranch: I Think It Was a Mouse

I think it was a mouse. I swear it was, but I can’t say with absolute positivity because it was dark. And because I was running the other direction. I hate mice.

The laundry piling up in my bedroom was demanding I no longer put off leveling my washer and dryer. So I yanked on my mud boots over my sweatpants, shrugged into my Carhartt and went to the woodshed at o-dark-thirty to look for some boards. Most normal people do something else at that hour – like sleep – but after this morning, you might be able to make a case to certify me as crazy. Certainly as “not normal”.

I rummaged around in the woodshed after sending Doc in first to make sure I wouldn’t surprise any little people. Though I am a licensed Iowa coon hunter, I didn’t want to tackle one this morning. And I say “licensed” in the very loosest sense of the word.

I found some boards with potential and was crunching my way back through the snow to my house when I felt it – something bumping into my leg. “Doc, stop it,” I muttered into the dark, knowing it was him bumping his nose into my knee. It continued, and I circled once…twice…another time for good measure… No Doc. So, if it wasn’t my dog…

“MOUSE!” I shrieked. At decibel levels an opera singer would have been jealous of. Dogs for three counties were momentarily silenced. And then I went…crazy? A little bonkers? Off my rocker and into the fire?

As I said, I hate mice, and the thought of having one sharing my pants was a little more than my nerves could handle. I hopped around in the snow, jerking my gloves off and yanking at my sweatpants. One boot flew through the air, and the second one joined it. A second later I was standing there in my socks, underwear and Carhartt. I whirled around like a mad woman looking for the mouse I’d just set free from the confines of my pants. Looking…looking…it was going to be a little embarrassing if there hadn’t been a mouse running up my leg. As if it already wasn’t a turn-your-cheeks-red type of situation.

A few moments later, my nerves no longer strung so fine, I sheepishly started to chuckle. And then I started to laugh in a way I haven’t for far too long. There I was…standing in the middle of my yard in my sock feet with no pants…on a morning when the thermometer read 10 degrees.

I have two bachelor degrees. I am working on my masters, I am gainfully employed, and I do have higher brain function on most days. I even have friends! But this morning, as I walked through half a foot of snow in nothing but my underthings and a Carhartt, I began to seriously contemplate the possibility that I might have been dropped on my head as a baby. I also became seriously thankful I live on a ranch with my closest neighbor a quarter mile away. And that it was dark so no one driving by could see me. And that I have a good enough sense of humor to share this with you all.

And there was something inside my pant leg. I’m telling you, there was! REALLY.

The Aftermath of the Mouse-capade

Photographic proof: The Aftermath of the Mouse-capade


  1. Erica, that is funny! Great sense of humor. In all seriousness, I believe you! 🙂

  2. Judy Hart says:

    What a hoot, my tom cat brought one into the house on Sunday, and we’re still looking for it! My 3 indoor cats, hubby, and I! We call it Peewee.

  3. Thank you for believing me Doug! I’ve usually got solid nerves, but apparently not when a mouse is hiking up my leg.

  4. @Judy – I hate mice (obviously). While I’d rather have one in my house than one running up my leg, I do hope you find “Peewee” before he finds his way into your food 🙂

  5. Judy Hart says:

    Peewee has taken over the laundry room. This morning I opened the door and let the four cats in there. Hopefully, I’ll get home and find just a tail! Not my favorite inside animal. I’ve had traps in there all week to no avail.

  6. Peewee is still with you?! I let my dog Doc sleep in the laundry room/porch area in hopes of some mouse control. I struggle with setting mouse traps, because I seem to catch myself more than my little visitors.

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