I am fortunate to live down the street from my best friend (last name Fauss) and over this past weekend, I took care of her two dogs, a boxer and a bloodhound, while she went out of town. When I stopped by on Friday, I noticed her boxer was behaving oddly by the armchair. The boxer was licking the carpet and sort of rolling something under its paw. The bloodhound stood over the boxer, watching whatever it was that was going on. I walked over to see what was happening and saw that it wasn’t the carpet the boxer was licking–it was a mouse. Being the strong, adult, independent woman that I am, I had the exactly the sort of reaction you’d expect:
“GET IT OUT! GET IT OUT OF THE HOUSE!” I screamed.
This is not my first experience finding a mouse in a house. Years ago, I discovered that I have the exact same reaction if I see a mouse or if someone is trying to murder me with an ax.
The bloodhound immediately scooped up the mouse in its mouth and ran for the back door. I hurried over and opened the back door and the bloodhound spit the mouse out on the grass. The bloodhound then looked back at me like he was awaiting further instructions. The boxer, however, took this opportunity to grab the mouse in the mouth and begin parading around the yard, the mouse’s tail hanging from her lips.
I ordered the boxer to drop the mouse and she looked like I’d just deeply insulted her and called her fat or something. Reluctantly, she dropped the mouse,which was still whole, but very, very dead. I think it either drowned in the boxer’s saliva or simply suffocated against her tongue, both of which I am sure are delightful mental images for you as a reader.
When I returned home, my husband, Jon, was sitting in the living room.
“There was a mouse in the Fauss house!” I announced.
“Nobody wants to read that Dr. Seuss book,” Jon replied.
I relayed this information to my best friend who immediately insisted I write a poem about the mouse escapade–so I did. I’m not really much of a poet (excluding my fantasy football haikus), so I apologize that the cadence falls off quite a few times. I also apologize for rhyming “house” with “house” and “dogs” with “watchdogs.” Also, for the purposes of this poem, my best friend was in Nepal.
The Mouse in Fauss House
One fine day in early fall
A friendly neighbor came to call
She was watching the house
For her best friend called Fauss
Who was off on a trek in Nepal
But inside the house was a terrible sight
That would cause the sweet neighbor a terrible fright
She would scream, she would yell
She’d set off the bells
And go running off into the night
She came inside to visit the dogs
Who leaped around like happy bullfrogs
She gave them some treats
And told them they’re sweet
And stopped to consider these watchdogs
One was a bloodhound, so big and so tall
Who often whined and started to bawl
But the boxer was sleek
Her demeanor more meek
And together they oft had a ball
So the neighbor walked in and looked by the couch
Where she saw that the boxer had started to slouch
Licking the floor, it seemed so odd
With her owners far away, traveling abroad
So the neighbor came over and crouched.
Then the neighbor screamed at the sight of the mouse
Who had somehow, some way, gotten into the house
The neighbor cried out
With her voice at a shout
“Get it out! Get it out! Get it out of the house!”
The bloodhound ran over, he was ready to try
To respond to the sound of the loud battle cry
He scooped up the vermin
Like his jaws were a basin
And he ran out the door, he was quick to comply
Then he spit out the mouse, he spit on the grass
And the neighbor wished desperately for one full wineglass
The mouse turned over, in confusion and fear
Wondering what had happened, leading it here
Before the boxer scooped it from the browning bluegrass
The boxer ran around the yard, starting to prance,
So proud was she, the dog appeared to dance.
The tail of the mouse hung down from her lips
And saliva began to fall down in drips
That mouse never even had a chance.
The neighbor stopped the boxer and told her to spit
For she wanted to see the vermin culprit
Though the boxer looked sad
She couldn’t be bad
So she opened her mouth and dropped it
The mouse had passed, it was definitely dead
And the neighbor raised a shaking hand to her head.
Drowned in saliva, or maybe by scare,
Or the creature had simply run out of air
Either way, there was no way to be misled.
The neighbor sighed, wishing now for a beer
She pulled out her phone, her head starting to clear.
She texted her friend, the homeowner Fauss
And told her all about that mouse
While the dogs sat by her feet, staying near
Then the neighbor, she left, the door shut with a click
And she thought of the dogs, who’d been so heroic
Saving her life
From the rampant wildlife
Thank god they had acted, their reflexes quick
As the neighbor walked home, back home to her spouse
Her mind, it replayed the thing with the mouse
Tomorrow, she swore,
She’d bring treats galore
For the brave dogs who’d fought the mouse in Fauss house
Special thanks to my best friend for letting me publish a story about a mouse in her house on the internet. For the record, her house is clean–mice are just asshole intruders. She even had Clorox wipes and Lysol disinfecting spray on the counter when I arrived at her house. I used the spray on the spot on the carpet where her dogs found the mouse. It smelled like lavender.