Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blast from the pest (sic)

I have nothing to say so I am re-posting this story from last summer for your entertainment…

The Bunny Club – a late night posting – Part 1.

Do you remember I said we had a mouse in the kitchen and the cat wasn’t interested because she just wants to catch rabbits these days? Well…

… there I was in the dining room at 7.45 pm, eating a late tea of fish and chips and drinking a glass of Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc, trying to recover from some bad news I’d just received via a phone call, when Dave came in from the kitchen and said, “It’s not a mouse in the kitchen, it’s a rat. And it’s hiding under the dresser. I’m getting my boiler suit on and my wellies, and I’m going to deal with it.” Then he retreated.

Five minutes later he came back and said, “It’s not a rat, it’s a rabbit. Can you come and help?”

I finished my tea and went into the kitchen, to find him climbing behind the washing machine.

“I thought it was under the dresser,” I said.

“It ran out when I poked it. It was too quick to catch.”

We don’t have a big kitchen. We don’t have a fancy kitchen. Half an hour later we still had not found the dratted rabbit. Had it escaped through the open window while his back was turned? Who bloody knows? We’ve left the cat in there, and I’m telling you now, Dave can go in there first in the morning.

The phone caller with the bad news had left a message with Dave for me to call her back when I got in at 7. “I hope that doesn’t spoil your dinner plans,” she said.

Dinner plans? Fish and chips for one, while the other dismantles the kitchen in search of a fugitive rabbit?

The Bunny Club – a late night posting – Part 2.

I wrote the last post late at night because I couldn’t sleep (on account of the bad news – of which more later). I sat here in my study writing. The house was silent, and I was just about to go and make some cocoa, when I heard a sudden skirmish behind the kitchen door. I froze. I didn’t want to stumble on a scene of carnage. So I went to bed, cocoa-less. When your kitchen -the ultimate altar to domesticity - becomes a place of creepiness and possible death, it’s deeply uncomfortable.

What was hiding in there behind the units? When four mousetraps had not caught it, but were contemptuously tossed across the kitchen by the quarry, you worry. When the demon is lurking out of sight, just sneaking out occasionally to snatch fragments of chocolate digestive lodged on said mousetraps (“Sorry, Ben,” (the painter), “the rabbit has finished the chocolate biscuits, you’ll have to have shortbread fingers”)  - somehow the intruder assumes the proportions of a monster. I mean – Dave said he saw a rabbit, but was it really a rabbit? It could have been a rat. He has been known to be wrong. He is a man. He just came in the bedroom saying he was freezing cold and had been waiting for me to wake up before coming in for clothes, and I pointed out that he has a heap of discarded jeans and jumpers in his study. If he can miss those, he could surely confuse a rabbit with a rat…

Thankfully, in the morning, the kitchen floor wasn’t strewn with bloody lapine entrails nor garnished with a headless corpse. We hadn’t really wanted the cat to kill the intruder, but we’d gone to bed fed up, and it seemed the natural thing to say to her - “You brought it home, you flush it out!”

When we opened the door, she bolted from the kitchen, as if desperate to get away from something. Was it a rat? Later she deposited a gutted bird on the doorstep, an apology for failing us.

“Right,” said Dave, after breakfast. “We can lure it out with lettuce, or consider force majeure.” He began to dismantle the kitchen again.

“I think it must be behind the fridge,” I said.

Dave pooh-poohed the idea: “There isn’t room.”

He pulled out the washer, the cooker and the dishwasher and cleaned their tops, their sides and the floor behind them. Then he took the kickboards off the units and swept out the droppings underneath. “Where the hell is it?” he said.

“I think it’s behind the fridge,” I said.

More pooh-poohing: “There isn’t room.”

He poked between the units and the wall with a long stick. Nothing.

“I think it’s behind the fridge,” I said.

Finally, he pulled out the fridge, and yes! It was a rabbit! Thank God! It wasn’t injured, and it didn’t have a stray mousetrap clipped to its ear. But then it rushed into the boxing around the pipes.

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So Dave unscrewed the boxing. July2010 016

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He put it on the back lawn and the harmless, cuddly bunny hopped jauntily away.

Our kitchen hasn’t been this clean for years.

Dave is a star.


galant said...

What a story! These are the lenghs we have been known to go to in ourder to rescue a mouse! Never had a bunny in the kitchen, though! (But of course, as that was a story you'd told before - before I found your blog - I still don't know what the bad news was. But perhaps that doesn't have the weight of importance now that it once had.)

Sue Hepworth said...

ah - to find out what the bad news was,Margaret, you'll have to look at the archives - July 26th 2010.

galant said...

Yes, that was bad news, but it was yesterday's bad news and you've turned that setback into a triumph by self-publishing!
Margaret P

Sue Hepworth said...

That's a very nice way of looking at it - thank you - but to me, although it is definitely an achievement to have self-published, and to have made the book look so professional, it is still second best. The only thing that isn't second best is the COVER!