October 26, 2008

Wee Sleekit Cowerin' Timorous Beastie - Glynis

Robert Burns the Scottish poet coined the phrase ‘such are the best laid plans of mice and men’ in his poem, To a Mouse. He refers to the nasty little critters as ‘wee sleekit, cowrin’ timorous beasties’ and then rambles on about the poor mouse and how rodent fears are unfounded.
Mr. Burns was off his rocker. My daughter agrees. We came to that stunning conclusion one night as we sat huddled in terror on the kitchen counter top. The hideous rodent scurried and scampered haphazardly in front of us.

The wretched little monster ran around the kitchen floor like an out of control windup toy. Amanda and I became emotionally unraveled. Our screams were now interspersed with laughter and tears. Our behaviour bordered on psychotic, but our trembling bodies bid us stay put, out of reach of the darting, ghastly creature.

I tried to get a grip – after all I was the matriarchal influence who was supposed to teach my daughter how to react appropriately when in a threatening situation. At one point I lowered a leg to the floor. As if by radar, the repulsive creature which actually, upon closer inspection, looked like a mole, stuck its nose in the air and headed in my direction. The kitchen once again sounded like a chorus of distraught, shrieking seagulls. The rodent darted the other way. Then the foolish thing stopped near the fireplace brick. Didn’t it realize getting out of our sight would have decreased the decibel level?

Eventually Amanda and I calmed down enough to discuss our dilemma. My dearly beloved was gone for the day. We had a choice. We could stay stranded on the countertop for eight hours or we could attempt to trap the wretched pint-sized rodent. I opted for the eight hours on the countertop. My daughter thought otherwise.

Luckily we were perched directly above the plastics cupboard. Amanda leaned over and retrieved a margarine container. Like a couple of timid tightrope walkers, we slithered down the cupboard. Amanda held the lid. I held the bottom of the container. My job was to cover the creature. Amanda agreed to ‘slip’ the lid underneath.

The rest of the story is a blur. I remember screams and panic as the dratted thing wiggled and jiggled under the margarine container. We didn’t even attempt to put the lid on for fear the little wriggler would squeeze out. It wasn’t quite as terrifying watching a margarine container glide around the kitchen. At least the pesky critter was in jail – sort of. We, the two sleekit, cowrin, timorous lasses, meanwhile, headed for the basement where we remained for about eight hours and awaited our rescuer.

So I guess my question is...why? Why did God create mice or rats or moles or, for that matter, is there really a purpose for houseflies and mosquitoes? Okay, okay...He declared that it was all good, didn't He? I guess His thoughts are not mine.

Obviously Robert Burns knew something that I haven't yet figured out.


  1. Oh, this is a delightful post! I'm laughing with wet eyes. I'm not afraid of mice (my brothers would never have allowed it), but totally sympathize! Great description and oh the pictures in my mind... they will keep me going in good humor all day.

  2. Very, very funny! I'm not (that) afraid of mice either, but this reminds me of the time that I trapped a huge spider under a glass in Australia... I HATE spiders and this one was about as big as a small mouse--way too big to just squish. I can just picture the mouse running around under the margarine container... too funny! :)

    1. burns wasn't insane...there crazed women were.

  3. Anonymous3:22 am GMT-7

    Thank you,I laughed my socks off,a great pick me up on a grey winter day.


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