“Oh holy night, the stars are brightly shining,” I sang to myself while I smeared chunky peanut butter on the bait bar. I walked across the kitchen to peer out the back door. The snow was easing up a bit.
I could smell the Frasier fir warming up in the living room. We had just bought it, half price because I guess you’re supposed to get your Christmas tree as soon as December hits and the local garden center was looking to liquidate their remaining tannenbäume. So, while the cut rate tree warmed up from the 15°F outdoor world to our balmy mid 60s living room, I loaded up the rat traps.
“We’re ready here,” I called out to the WideEyedSpouse and bundled up for unpleasant outside conditions. We gathered up our shockingly large rat traps and headed out.
“It is the night of the dear savior’s birth,” I sang as I crawled under the back deck, spider webs trailing from my Nome, Alaska ski hat with a goofy white pompom, nastiness clinging to my knees. Around the support posts, past the stack of old landscaping bricks, to the house foundation wall. “Ok,” I called over to the WideEyedSpouse. He handed a rat trap from the hatchway on the side of the deck, peanut butter waggling on the bait bar.
“Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘til he appeared and the soul felt its worth,” I sang as I eased the trap bar back on its scary spring and carefully propped the lock lever into the bait bar notch. “Careful,” the Spouse murmured from his position in the hatch door, as though we were setting sensitive explosives. I slowly moved my hands away. Set.
I scooted a few feet to the right, singing again, “A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!” Again, easy, easy, now, I pushed back the bar, set the lever and backed away.
“Fall on your knees,” I sang loud and strong, unafraid of missing the notes because who was to hear me but the rat trying to dig into my foundation. I sort of was hoping I was the last thing he heard. I back crawled out from under the deck, singing more quietly to myself because I had to concentrate on missing the insect carcasses twirling in the little winds under the deck. “Oh hear the angel voices, Oh night divine, Oh night when Christ was born.”
The Spouse helped me stand up when I hit the hatchway door – whistling oh holy night. We locked up the hatch door to keep the poochies out and stomped through the snow back to our Christmas tree.
This morning we saw little rat tracks leading away from the house. I guess I really missed those high notes.
Truly a blessed season!
Truly, the moment had a grim charm.
chunky is best. get a nut chunk wedged in the bait bar so they have to work at it for a while. you’ll get to meet “rodent the red-nosed rat” in the morning.
Yeah, chunky it is. I thought for sure he’d be hungry. Sneaky city rat. We’ll get him – and then he’ll join my osteological collection up in the lab!
Wow, I totally had all the words to Holy Night wrong.
Yeah. It isn’t a real equitable, judgment free song. I especially like the uplifting idea that people were in sin and error pining for a coupla hundred thousand years before Christianity was invented.