2. Sick Things
3. (Are you ready for this?)
There were six in the cage. When we returned home there were none in the cage and a rather suspicious plastic portal cover on its side, the victim of a chew out.
(Their mother was the ringleader--how Old World can you get? "The Family" is out and wreaking havoc.)
And Thing Two's bedroom door was OPEN.
We retrieved two in Thing Two's room, one in the living room, and one (of course) in the yarn-based bedroom. (What is it about gerbils and my room??? I'd already suffered one solo baby gerbil escape over Christmas break while the Things were gone to their dad's. Little Master Adventure Gerbil had headed straight for my room, where he curled up under a pillow and slept while I tore the rest of the house apart looking for him. Gah.)
Just returned from a bathroom capture. One gerbil under the washer, which steadfastly refused to move like the obliging dryer. I had to haul the not-feeling-well Thing One out of his burrow to lever the darn thing up for us. I've now got lint on the legs and bottom of my sweats. But we got the little twit.
The last escapee was definitely cagier than the rest. (Okay, so there is an inherent contradiction in word choice there, but at the mo I really don't give a flip.) It remained on the lam for a good hour and an half after everyone else had been delivered to their plastic prison.
It had not counted on Thing Two with her head cold/virus, though. Seriously, that girl could rival the heralding trumpets of the Second Coming in sheer volume. She perchanced to blow her nose whilst walking through the kitchen. There was a terrified squeak, and out ran the last juvenile delinquent from behind the refrigerator. It took one look up at her, the creator of the cacophony, and promptly turned tail and ran back behind the damn refrigerator.
Thank goodness my kids have enough plastic weaponry leftover from Halloween to arm a small mob of sugar-crazed four year olds. The sword fit under the frig and with judicious waving of it, convinced the miniature fugitive that ducking under the frig itself was not wise. The scythe's handle fit under the stove (the secondary point of evacuation). Thing Two waited at the exit behind the frig and I stationed myself at the space between the stove and the frig. Thing Four, with great enthusiasm, kept the weapons moving.
Stupid rodent figured out just how far in I could reach, though, and calmly sat right beyond that point. But he hadn't counted on human wits, you know? I chivvied a broom back behind him and swept his little butt out into the cold light of...well, light bulbs, okay? It was evening, after all.
Wits though I had, I may have neglected to think things quite through. There is a bit of difficulty, after all, in capturing a rodent on the run when you've two hands on a broom. And so the chase was on. We got him out from behind the baseboard heater in the kitchen and he promptly legged it to the safety of the Christmas tree. (No, I've not yet gotten it down. Thanks so much for pointing that out.)
Then it was a mad dash for the safety of under the sofa. By the time we had tossed the sleeping, sick Thing One off its cushions and upended it, the little criminal made its final dash. To MY room.
I repeat, what is it about my room???
So, back in we went. Baskets of yarn were lifted, and my rovings (nestled in a open box with my drop spindle) were carefully checked through, because if little dude were snacking on my rovings, then his butt would be out in the snow.
(I don't care how cute he looks with over-large, not-yet-grown-into ears.)
After I was VERY certain there was NO rodent in that corner, we turned our attention to the land of under the dresser.
And that's when the (insert word not appropriate for all audience members) jumped me from behind.
His trajectory suggests that he came, indeed, from the corner just checked, and that he came on with an, "It's either them or me, see?" mentality. Personally, I think he wanted the deep purple and royal blue rovings for a nest and would stop at nothing to gain them.
I, of course, was too busy battling for my life to actually capture him, and Thing Two was laughing so hard that I still don't see how she scooped him up. Traitorous girl. She's so on dishes-washing duty for the rest of her natural-born life.
But though she gave the miscreant gerbil a stern baby-talk talking to, I think I was right to be suspicious of him and his murderous tendencies.
Remember the victimized plastic portal cover? Well, Thing Two reinserted the cover and masking taped it in, secure in the knowledge that none of the grown-up gerbils had been able to foil that strategy. What she hadn't counted on was this same little deviant capitalizing on a rough edge to chew a hole THROUGH the portal, one just big enough to wriggle out of.
She's lucky not to have woken up with a pillow-wielding rodent on her chest, ready to smother Trumpet Girl in her sleep. Seriously.
Tomorrow we are going to try to find a pet store closer than an hour away and Girlie is spending some of her hard-earned Christmas money (hmm hmm) on a METAL cage.
Let's hope they can't squeeze out between the bars.