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Mistaken identity

Column by Gail Krawetz
Gail Krawetz

Those of you who have read my earlier columns know that I detest mice and will stop at nothing to be rid of them. This was true at home and at the school where I taught.

One fall a mouse decided to take up residence in our school. It particularly liked to chew on crayons in the Grade 1 teacher’s desk. She was frantic! Although we set up traps (in places where little fingers wouldn’t be caught), that crafty little critter evaded capture. The other women on staff were terrified (except for me, of course) of encountering this sneaky rodent, so that didn’t help matters.

One day we spotted it scurrying along the wall in the staff room. I’ve never seen a bunch of women pull up their legs and jump up on the closest piece of furniture so quickly in my life! Meanwhile I tried to step on it (since I had no weapon at hand), but once again it escaped.

So when the opportunity came, a few nights later, to get rid of the furry rascal for once and all, I didn’t hesitate.

We were having a drama practice in the gym. I had just given the students a break, while I attended to some technical issues, when a group of girls came back to excitedly tell me, “Mrs. Krawetz, there’s a mouse in the staff washroom. The other girls have it cornered. What should we do?”

I immediately told them to get rid of it, unless they wanted me to do it. Being hardy farm girls, they said they would take care of it and dispose of the remains. A few minutes later they reported that the deed had been done. Although one girl lamented, “It was kind of cute, just sitting there, looking up at us. But it was pretty big.”

Well, cute or not, that mouse was not going to have the run of our school and if it was a big one, then it probably was going to have babies. Feeling that we had dodged a bigger problem, I thought how relieved the staff would be when I told them the good news the next morning. So we went back to our practice.

The following day I arrived at school to find a big commotion going on. The doors to the science lab were wide open and students were pulling boxes and items away from the walls, apparently looking for something.

“What’s going on?” I asked the science teacher.

He replied, “Oh, one of the gerbils got out and we are looking for it.”

The search was called off once I delivered (with some embarrassment) the bad news to my colleague.

As for the mouse, we never did see it again. Maybe it moved on and decided not to mess with me!