Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A rat in my room


I heard the trap spring shut. And then--

Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!

What in the world? He didn't die! I thought to myself. He must be a big one. 

It was 2:30 in the morning, and I was in the shower. I had gone to bed hours earlier, but I was still lying there, too hot and sweaty to fall asleep. I didn't want to bother to get up, strike a match, light my lantern, and go solve the problem by dousing myself with cold water.

Then I heard it.

Munch, munch, munch.

The sounds of chewing brought my senses to full alert. That rat is back again, I thought. I'm going to set the trap. I had just bought a rat trap in Port-au-Prince, because I had been having problems with my little nightly visitor, but I hadn't had a chance to set it yet.

I got up and lit the lantern. Of course the rat silently fled, so I didn't get a sight of him. I looked around, and sure enough, there was a neat little bite taken out of one of my fruits.

I grabbed the trap, opened my food tote and pulled out the peanut butter. Too lazy to get a spoon or something, I used my finger and wiped some of it over the little bait spot. Then, without thinking, I put my finger in my mouth and licked the rest of the peanut butter off. Horror struck me as it dawned on me what I had just done. Good thing this was a brand-new trap, I thought. I had better never, ever, ever do that again.

I set the trap carefully and put it near the spot where the rat usually visited. Then, since I was already awake, I figured I might as well get in the shower.

That's why I was in the shower at 2:30 in the morning when the rat trap sprang.

I was drying myself off and I heard him thrashing around the room, giving vociferous cries and squeaks.

What in the world? I thought. He's going to get away with my trap!

I also wondered how Emily was doing. She is my roommate and has just arrived in Haiti. She must be freaking out, I thought. Alone in the dark with a wild, frenzied rat. I wish I was at least there in the room with her.

A knock came on the door. I heard Emily's voice. "The rat got caught," she said. "Yes, I heard," I replied. Well, at least she wasn't afraid to get out of bed and walk across the floor, I thought. Her voice sounded pretty calm, too. A new respect sprang up for my new missionary family member.

As soon as I could, I exited the shower and came back to my room to investigate. Everything was quiet. Was he gone or dead?

Photo Credit: Emily Brown

There he was, upside down, and quite dead.


Photo Credit: Emily Brown
I put on a pair of rubber gloves and picked up the trap. Emily grabbed her camera and followed me out the front door. I posed for a couple of pictures and then gingerly opened the trap. The rat fell with a thud onto the ground. I picked him up by the tail and launched him over the wall as far as I could into the banana field.


He was gone.

We did it.

And then we went back to bed and slept peacefully for the rest of the night.


  1. Oh my goodness, this made me laugh so hard! You have a way of explaining things that just makes it hilarious! What an experience! :)

    1. Yay! I'm so glad it made you laugh! I was smiling while I wrote it...so the happy feelings must have come through.

  2. Good grief! But glad to know the rat trap did it's job. Proud of Emily AND you. I thought you were about to have two new roommates?

    1. Good grief! You said "it's" instead of "its"! Remember, "It's" is a contraction of "it is." Would "it is" make sense in that place in the sentence? (Since you're my mother, I can say this...course I still love you!) Glad you enjoyed the post.

  3. "He didn't die? Inconceivable!" lol. Glad you caught him. It seems your "missionary experiences" are now complete. Meaning you've had all those little experiences that people dread about travelling.

  4. Good grief! That picture of you has got to be the most attractive picture I have ever seen. Haha, actually, no, it's not. It actually looks like it belongs in a horror movie ;) Quite a funny post today :)


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