Early mornings at our house are Mom’s time. The house is dark and quiet; the only critters that are barely stirring are the two cats that got tossed off the bed when Mom got up to silence her alarm. She heads to the kitchen, starts the coffee and takes that few minutes to check e-mails and bank balances before getting on with the day.
This morning, the computer was barely waking up and the only light in the kitchen was the glow from the red light on the front of the coffee pot. Thursday’s include checking the order for the Fairfield Farmer’s Market. It is an online farmers market where the vendors list their items that will be available that week and orders are taken until midnight on Wednesday. All the produce, jams, jellies, dairy, meat, etc. are dropped off at one central location and can be picked up by the customer at four different locations throughout the county. There is a little less meet and greet, but it is very convenient in today’s online age.
Slam, Clank, Crash! Those darned cats had knocked something over in the back room, again! Most of them are in their mid-teens, one would think that by now, they would be done climbing the walls.
The house returned to its slumber and the whirring of the CPU joined the drip of the coffee maker.
SQUEEEEEE, AAAAHHHH, EEEEEEEE, AAAAAHHHH
That can’t be good! I jumped out of my chair, turned on the lights – all the cats were accounted for. Little man rarely wakes up this early - my heart dropped to my toes - I ran to the living room and flashed on the light. Little man lay snoozing on his father’s chest where I left them around three o’clock this morning. Instant relief!
Crash! SQUEEEEEE, AAAAHHHH, EEEEEEEE, AAAAAHHHH, Crash!
The sounds were coming from the basement. I grabbed a flash light, pulled open the door and carefully descended the narrow stairs – my heart was still racing, I was barefoot and hadn’t had my first cup of coffee. Nothing should be in the basement except the water pump, the boiler and the water heater; if those mechanicals were making these kinds of noises then we were in for a rough ride. The squealing continued as I reached the bottom of the stairs. In the far corner under the shelves of empty preserving jars and behind the old water heater there was a ruckus.
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Eyes still clouded with sleep and just calming down from sheer terror, I couldn't figure out what I was looking at in the circle of yellow cast from the flash light. After what seemed like an eternity, it let go of the mouse that it had in its grasp and turned toward me. A WEASEL was inside my house! I thought about throwing the pipe wrench at it, but I wasn’t sure if it would only get mad and come after me – they have some sharp teeth. Deciding I wasn’t much of a threat, it returned to terrorizing his breakfast. I found an empty wicker basket and attempted to capture it. Remember, I haven’t had any coffee yet; wicker can’t keep a weasel in for more than 15 or 20 seconds before it would chew through the sides. He wisely decided that I wasn’t going to allow him to finish his meal so he skulked off, climbing the stacked stone foundation and headed out along the plumbing towards the old ice house.
There is a trap set in the basement and when I get home we will set one outside as well. The last thing that will be taking up residence with a long winter coming is a weasel – our chickens could be in for trouble with a family of these buggers hanging around. I was awake now, running behind schedule, but awake! I still took 24 oz of that hot, energizing deliciousness to work with me.