The furry intruder

I kept waking up every hour, and each time the grating sounded harsher and louder.

Krrk, krrk, krrk. A strange grating sound woke me up suddenly. I switched on the light. The sound stopped. Must have been some dream. I switched off the light and went back to sleep. The sound came back again. The light came on again.

Nothing. Only the soft snoring of my husband who seemed oblivious to the world. Was someone trying to get in? I felt a little uneasy and looked around. The door was well latched and the curtained window showed no sign of anything amiss. But I kept waking up almost every hour to check, and each time the grating sounded harsher, louder and closer.

It surely was someone or something trying to cut through the meshed window. Sounds of a scuffle, grating and squealing followed by a thud made my hair stand on end.

The sound of squeaking was now a little too loud for my liking! I switched on the light and jumped up out of bed. My husband woke up too this time. As we looked around, two little eyes peered out from near my husband’s pillow and a small brown body with a tail emerged looking bewildered. What ‘misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows’! I screamed and ran out of the room.

“Get a stick quick!” my husband yelled. I shoved a broom through the slightly open door and banged it shut. I wasn’t going to go out of the front door for a stick at this unearthly hour. Whack, whack, I heard the sound as the duo, man and animal, ran round the room.

A hushed silence followed. I opened the door gingerly, to see the broom in tatters and the creature nowhere in sight. Must have gone out the way it came in, my husband contented and decided to go back to bed, but not before clearing the broom and two leather bags that were put away in the loft. That was the end of my sweet sleep.

Refusing to believe that the intruder had left, I preferred to sleep on the sofa in the drawing room the next night. What if the creature chose to nibble my toes while I slept on the floor! After a bad night with mosquitoes that lavishly feasted on rich blood, I was sharing the experience with my grandnephew, when my husband came out to declare that he had heard the same grating sound in the night. Only this time it had come from the loft. Not possible. It could not have climbed up into a closed loft. Oh no! I gasped the next minute, as realisation suddenly dawned on me!

Armed with a stick each, the husband, the younger son and the grandnephew took their positions, ready for the strike, as the elder son, his armor complete with a helmet, stood on a chair and opened the door of the loft.

Immediately, the little creature scuttled out of the bag and began running around the loft. Whack, squeal, whack, was all I could hear. The next minute the door opened and the four men exited the room, holding a tiny mouse by the tail, all with a look of triumph at the success of the operation!

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