Of things that go bump in the night

It is night once more and once more I cannot sleep.

But this time there is a different reason- a resident under my bed. We met about a month ago when he appeared from beneath my bed in broad daylight. For a while I wasn’t sure if I should play the part of the brave strong, pith-helmet-clad missionary and aim valiantly at the rodent or if I should act the part of the pale, heroic, languishing maiden and befriend the wee mouse and feed him crumbs, but since I don’t really fit any of the latter description, I decided to go with the former instead, even though I don’t necessarily fit that description instead. Neither was he a wee mouse. At all. He was (and sadly still is) a rat.

I don’t mind mice. They are actually rather cute. But rats are a different story. ESPECIALLY if they are trying to eat my precious snacks.

Usually we get along quite well. Whenever I hear rustlings of any sort under my bed, I will give a nice respectful thump on my bed, and he will do a nice respectful getaway. But the respect part has been rubbing away, and tonight as I was just drifting off, I heard him. Quite clearly and quite boldly, bumping something.

I sat up in bed and emitted some sort of roar. It was the sort of roar you emit when it is 12 o’clockish at night and you are awakened by a rat and you want to throw something and you don’t have anything handy and so you sort of let out a strangled yell/grunt/bellow/rumble. Yeah. Like that! Exactly! And it disappeared. And for a moment I thought I was dreaming.

The two oldest children of my host family and their mom were still awake. I decided not to say anything and try to go back to sleep. Meanwhile I heard them discussing the yell/grunt/bellow/rumble they had heard, and where it came from.

Meanwhile the rat decided to make another appearance. Again I didn’t have anything handy, so I sat up in bed and thumped the bed and again made some sort of noise (but this time without the foghorn effects) and it scuttled under the bed.

This time my efforts attracted the attention of the children, and thus began a jolly rat hunt under my bed. I was handed a club-like thing (I don’t know what it’s called)leftover from a Tae Kwon Doe class and the hunt was on, but it turned out to be fruitless. The Son climbed up as well, and the Oldest Girl dived under my bed and nearly got stuck in the process.

But no rat was found. I doubt that he will appear again tonight.

I feel like the Son and the Oldest Girl quite enjoyed the hunt. As I tried to settle down again, they were still calling up comforting phrases to my room.

“I hope you are ok tonight!” “You know sometimes rats bite people.” “Yeah a rat bit my grandmother once!” “It can really hurt!”

Thank you. I appreciate it very much!

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