Or How to make your mother FREAK out.
I feel I must provide you with some backstory as I’m not the type to overreact to injuries. In fact, I’m not even the type to give sympathy for most injuries and if my children feel their injury somehow deserves sympathy, they go to their father.
This summer we had 3 or 4 incidents involving some rogue bees. If it had only happened once we’d probably have written it off as a fluke, but on separate occasions and in different locations, a bee would find the boys and sting them several times and then follow them INTO the house. every. single. time. It was disconcerting to say the least.
Then last Saturday, we found a dead animal on the road right in front of our driveway. Which was nothing but gross.
Then, that same day, C came in and told me that a small animal bit him. Whoa! After many rapid-fire questions of where, what, when, how, and why-in-the-world-did-you-stick-your-fingers-anywhere-near-a-wild-animal!, and a lot of I-don’t-know’s, we determined that it was, perhaps, a mouse. (And no, we didn’t google “diseases obtained from mouse bites”. I like to sleep at night.)
The point is, there were a lot of weird animal goings-on around here.
So, now we come to yesterday, when the boys all went outside to play. C discovered the aforementioned roadkill when he went up to get the mail and, coming back he gathered his brothers, with Molly on a leash, for an expedition to check it out. When they got back, they discovered a dead “rat” in the driveway. They were very excited and told me all about it and then tried to get me to come look at it. I humored them by walking to the end of the garage and then said, “That’s nice. Don’t touch it” and went back inside.
I was in the kitchen working on dinner when C came in and said very calmly and seriously, “Mom, I want to tell you something.”
“What do you want to tell me?”
“J got bit on the finger by a rat.”
“A rat bit J.”
“A RAT BIT J?!!!!” (Why, yes. I was yelling.)
He nodded solemnly.
“A RAT! WHERE? ANOTHER RAT? OR THE DEAD RAT?”
C was starting to look like he wished he hadn’t had “something to tell me”. He looked worried. “I don’t know.”
At this point I can hear J crying loudly in the garage so I rush out there to see. Sure enough, he has a mark on his finger with blood on it. By this time I had not regained any semblance of composure.
“WHERE IS THE RAT?! WHERE DID IT HAPPEN?! WHY DID YOU STICK YOUR HAND ANYWHERE NEAR A WILD ANIMAL?!”
J is still crying and cannot talk. He points to the driveway, which happens to be where the dead “rat” is lying.
“THE DEAD RAT BIT YOU?!” In my mind I can imagine a-previously-thought-to-be-dead-but-only-just-wounded-animal snapping at little hands, although even as I said it, I thought it sounded completely ridiculous.
He very slightly shook his head no.
“The dead rat didn’t bite you?”
He shook his head no again.
“Then what did bite you?”
“Oh.” I said, straightening up. “Well, that must have hurt. But I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
Post script: The “rat” was actually a very dead mouse. Mr. French later confirmed this. And there was no mail delivered that day because of the roadkill that was in front of the mailbox on the road. We know this because today in the mail we received a notice stating that “we will be unable to deliver your mail” if the “approach to box” is not kept clear at all times. They sure get bent out of shape over a little dead animal. Sheesh.