I was on vacation with my family this summer, taking a roadtrip around Missouri. We stopped first at Branson, went to Silver Dollar City and rode a pretty intense Go-Kart track. After that we stopped in a very remote town, unfortunately I don’t remember the name, but it was next to the Black River. The first night we were there, we stayed in a place with ten cabins that were like you were staying in an old Abe Lincoln cabin, which you kind of were. But for some reason I really liked it, it felt homey and comforting. No TV, very few electrical outlets, and old furniture and woodwork.
That evening we went to a place about 20 minutes away called the Elephant Rocks, which were beautiful yet daunting at the same time. They’re these massive boulders that are in a river with a little swimming area at the bottom. It’s at an incline, so we had to take my 8 and 3 year old sisters down it through raging whirlpools and unexpected deep water in some places. Not a fun experience, it was completely nerve-racking and intense. But the water was great, and the scenery was beautiful.
We came home after about an hour there, and we were enjoying the house. We all took showers then went to bed, exhausted from all the events of the day. I was dreaming about something slightly unpleasant if I remember correctly, and I started awaking a little bit, and my dream was mixing with reality. “…rodent of some kind…” I heard my dad say. Things like “stay in your room,” and “is it out there?!”. I heard some commotion and scurrying scratches on the floor. A few minutes later, my dad walked into my dark room, and whispered loudly “Hey Ads? I need some help, we’ve got a bit of a rodent problem.” I got up and he then said “And you might want to put some socks on too.” So I did. And I walked out of my room into the living area. I saw on the kitchen table that our loaf of bread had been tampered with. My dad said that it had taken residency underneath of the couch, and I could see a long skinny tail poking out underneath of it. I asked my dad what it was. “I thought it was a raccoon at first, but-” he paused, lowering his voice “I think it’s a rat.” Now, me, I don’t mind wild animals that much. They don’t scare me, because I know that they’re twice as afraid of me if I were afraid of them. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for my stepmom. The second she knew there was an animal in the house, she went ballistic (it did provide a little bit of entertainment at times). My dad did have to carry her out on his back so she could use the bathroom, but other than that she stayed out of a fifty foot radius of where we were trying to catch it.
Our plan was simple; my dad would move the couch, and I would trap it underneath of a trashcan. This proved to be harder than we anticipated. The couch was extremely heavy, and the rat kept positioning himself where the couch was over his head if we moved it a bit. We finally decided to make our move. Dad moved the couch in a quick burst of strength so the rat was out in the open. To my surprise, it was actually… cute. It wasn’t dirty or fat like Templeton on Charlotte’s Web or the R.O.U.S’s on the Princess Bride. It was small and with big black eyes like a mouse. Quite adorable actually.
Unfortunately, in my attempt to catch it, I didn’t put the trashcan down in time. I missed it by THAT MUCH, and it scurried into the bathroom and through a hole in the wall and didn’t appear again. The next few days there was an exterminator at the cabin, and we got moved to a different cabin. Apparently the campsite had had this problem before got there.
The next place we traveled to was urban, civilized St. Louis. We all appreciated a bit of big city, and we knew there would be no rats in a skyscraper hotel. And I of course got some cool pictures of the arch as you see to the side.That night at dinner, my stepmom got up at the dinner table in front of all the family (and there was a LOT of family) and told her version of the story. That in itself was one of the most entertaining parts of the trip, especially when my dad piped in “I could have sworn it was the Easter bunny!”. If you ever meet my stepmom, ask her to tell you the “Rat Story”. Funny stuff.
Just a funny story, hope you enjoyed my interpretation. 🙂