It all happened just a minute ago. My adrenaline surge has not yet subsided, so if there are outrageous typos herein, that's why.
I stole quietly out to the kitchen to get a second helping of chocolate ice cream. Just as I set the container on the cupboard, a very large, dark brown moth flew past me. At least, that is what my brain would have retrieved under hypnosis, had that been the only glimpse I had gotten of it....
The second glimpse confimed what my logic centers were beginning to scream at me .... MOUSE!.
The little brown b*****d ran down the length of the counter and disappeared behind a cutting board leaning against the backsplash. When it did not re-emerge immediately on the other side, I knew I'd just been handed the advantage. After a momentary Mexican standoff, it did as I expected - made a retreat towards the opposite direction at Talibanesque speed... towards the security of Escape Plan A -the hideout cave in the Frigidaire Mountains.
But I was one step ahead, which as it turns out, was enough, as one human step is the equivilent of a 200 metre dash for a mouse. This time, it knew it was in trouble, and launched itself in a suicide leap to the floor, ran along the baseboards of the cupboards and was heading for Escape Plan B when,
it experienced the negative g-forces that occur when a mouse moving at full speed meets the force of a running shoe with 130 pounds of human to back it up. I had stepped squarely on its tail. Cackling with glee, I was about to dispatch it when another, better, more malevolent idea bubbled to the surface of my cerebral cortex.
I have, as a friend likes to call them, "little rat dogs".
And in the living room, watching the credits for Law and Order, was none other than the biggest baddest rat dog of them all. Bruce. Bruce of Batman fame. Bruce, named after the erstwhile Bruce Wayne, defender of justice, righter of wrongs, eater of dog food, direct descendant of one of the most legendary mouse dispatchers in the history of Gotham City. (I personally served one to his grandsire, many years ago, at a dog show in Lloydminster.)
I called for him, as I could not shine the Bat Light without letting the mouse go. It seemed forever before I saw the gleam of his fierce black eyes and scowling expression come around the corner. He took another 4 steps or so, and suddenly realized that a squeaking enraged little being was flipping about, biting at my runner, and that the yelling I was doing was not at him, but at the foreign invader.
He looked back at me in stark disbelief.
"You're hurting it!"
For a moment I was taken aback, then resumed my urging, and when he finally looked back down at my foot, I decided the time was now, time to release the mouse to the fate destined it by newly awakened rat-dog instincts. Surely, a mouse _running_ around on the floor would awaken instincts?
I lifted my toe, and the little mouse legs that had been churning uselessly on the linoleum were suddenly released. It catapulted _towards_ the mesmerized, alleged rat dog and scrambled through his legs like a Jack Russell doing weave poles. Bruce came completely *un*mesmerized, and began scrambling backwards and upwards to get out of its way. The only thing that prevented it from gaining access to Escape Plan C was the frozen body of "Frankie" who, also ashamed for my persecution of rodents, had sat her old butt down on the floor, directly in its path. It ran into her too, before seeking the sanctuary of the stove.
I ended it up dispatching it myself after the dogs had left the room.
I can't find Bruce.
So, back to my subject line... "For sale, one (1) black Champion Miniature Schnauzer, housetrained, healthy, good with kids. He would make a suitable guard for a research lab, hamster breeding facility, snake food emporium, or as an escort for your prized guinea pig as he is _completely_ trustworthy with small rodents."
 I have no idea what erstwhile means, but it sounded cool, so I used it anyway.
copyright 2000, Catherine McMillan