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2008 – Year of the What?

January 2, 2008

"A Rat Year is a time of hard
work, activity, and renewal.  This is a good year to begin a new job,
get married, launch a product or make a fresh start.  Ventures begun
now may not yield fast returns, but opportunities will come for people
who are well prepared and resourceful.  The best way for you to succeed
is to be patient, let things develop slowly, and make the most of every
opening you can find." 
from Spring Greeting Cards

Chers Amis,


Happy New Year!  Did you know that 2008 is the Year of the Rat?     Now, I am usually quite nature friendly – snakes, crayfish, frogs, salamanders, birds, insects, spiders, even the odd possum are welcome chez nous – but not rats.  I have to draw the line somewhere!  So, when I saw the name of the new year, I shuddered. NO RATS ALLOWED AU MOULIN.  Unfortunately, rats can’t read.

   Yup.  We had a recent rat encounter/incident au moulin.  It started back in November when my dh went up to Indiana to see his mother and I decided to do a bit of late night computer work.  While surfing and typing away, I heard tiny footsteps and scurrying to and fro right above my head.  Then nothing. Creepy silence. Maybe it was the dog upstairs I told myself hopefully.  Without dh home, I did not want to indulge in worrying or tearing up the ceiling tiles in search of  – what? an angry squirrel?  a possum? When he came home, we sat and listened for the sound to return.  Nada. Rien – for a few weeks and then it returned.  Dh tried the broomstick in the ceiling tile trick. Don’t bother.  He bought a critter trap and baited it with peanut butter and seed and pushed it up in the crawl space. Scurrying, yes, full trap, no. (Where is that snake when I need it?).

Last weekend, dh called me out on to the deck and pointed behind our lounge chair.  There sat ugly proof, a ball, covered with chew marks, the pink coating neatly whittled away and left in a pile of neat shavings.   Hmm.  Squirrels don’t eat balls.  Darn.  Somehow the idea of a poor innocent squirrel trapped in my cozy abode was better than un rongeur on the loose. So dh, repositioned the trap outdoors, et voila! The next morning we put the dog out on the deck and she discovered a small, grey trespasser.  Ca y est!  What does a dog love more than a bone?  A rat in a box.  El dogo lifted and flipped the box end over end several times, thrilled with her quarry. I actually felt sorry for the intruder, however much I dislike rodents.  Dh took the trap to a vacant lot far away and released "Hawk bait" later that morning.  We haven’t heard a sound in our ceiling since.  I just hope rats don’t read the Chinese zodiac and decide to take up residence for the year.  One rat per twelve years  is enough.


PS – I do like the bit about the Year of the Rat that says it is a good time to start a new job.  Dh is still looking. 

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2008 2:33 pm

    My oldest ds and I were both born in Rat years, but I’m with you about not wanting one in my house! We recently got a mouse that had been leaving evidence all over the basement, which resulted in yet another discussion with certain children about why the mice must go outside into the cruel winter cold.

    Hope your dh finds something soon!

  2. January 2, 2008 8:12 pm

    I’m with you on the rats. Our cat recently brought a big fat one in the house and dropped it at our feet. It promptly scurried behind the bookshelves, the Montessori shelves, the armoire, etc! You should have seen ds and I chasing after it with our only weapon…a butterfly net!LOL! Biggest butterfly I ever caught!LOL!

  3. hélène permalink
    January 3, 2008 9:33 am

    Bonne année du rat Marjorie

  4. cheryl permalink
    January 3, 2008 9:12 pm

    I’m glad you caught the critter.

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