Some Mice Are Black

[Editor’s note: This was written on one of the few family vacations we took on August 4th, 1975 at the Holiday Inn in Colorado, Springs. The original handwritten story is on hotel paper.]

I looked at the clock. I had overslept by thirty minutes. Half awake, I stumbled into the hall and turned on the light.

Suddenly, something small and black ran across in front of me. I ran and climbed on top of the kitchen table and screamed for my nearsighted husband to GET UP AND KILL THIS THING!

I couldn’t be sure what it was. My husband grabbed a broom and began half-asleep to attempt to kill whatever it was as I screeched directions of this black thing running here and there in the family room and living room. My husband finally gave up the chase and declared I must be imaging things and if there was something it was now long gone.

Still trembling, I climbed off the table onto a chair, carefully watching should it return. My husband finally convinced me that it was gone, so I made coffee and got him off to work. Nothing appeared, as I also got the children off to school and went grocery shopping. Upon my return from the store, and after putting away the groceries, I made myself a cup of coffee and decided to sit down on the couch to drink it. But occurred to me that the intruder might be under the couch.

Becoming very brave, I set the coffee down and pulled the couch away from the wall. There sat the biggest, blackest, tarantula you can imagine. I dashed to the kitchen phone and dialed 0 and stood in the garage and shivered.

The nasal toned operator answered. “Get me the police,” I screamed. She asked me my name and address and soon I hear an authoritative from the police headquarters answer. I tell her in near panic that there is a tarantula behind my couch. “I’m sorry man, but it wouldn’t do any good to send the policeman out a tarantula as they have no equipment for that. I would suggest a pest control company,” she says as she hangs up.

The operator comes back on the line. “Get me a pest control company,” I say. “I’m sorry, I’ll have to connect you with directory assistance, she says, as I say wait to no avail. Directory assistance answers, and by now I’m weak as as a kitten. I ask her to get me the number to a pest control company. “Which pest control company do you wish the number for?” her Clarance Darell voice asks.

“I don’t care, just hurry.”

“I’m sorry,” she argues, “I must have the name of the company.”

My mind is about to burst and suddenly a television commercial comes to mind and I give that name to her.

Keeping the telephone number in my head and giving it to the operator is almost more than I can bear.

A friendly voice answers at the pest control company as I tell him the story. Anyway, he assures me that tarantulas are not poisonous. he asks me if it is still behind the couch. “I guess so,” I say and think that there is no way I’m going to go look. I’ve been in the garage for one hour now. He promises to send a truck immediately.

I hang up the phone and have a little talk with myself. Slowly I go in and over to the couch. Sure enough, it is still there in the same spot.

I dash out the front door and over to my next door neighbor’s house. I know and when she doesn’t answer, I head to another neighbor’s house. Two german shepherds greet me snarling and showing all their teeth. A strange lady is with them. I ask if my neighbor is in. Before I know what I’m doing, I blurt out that there is a tarantula behind my couch. She explains she is my neighbors’ mother, as the neighbor arrives with a baby in her arms. They both decide they want to see what a tarantula looks like, so we all go back to my house and they go in to look. Not me- there is noway I was going in there again.

About that time, the pest control man arrives. I breathe a sigh of relief. He goes inside with his equipment and a glass jar he brought to keep the tarantula in. I tell him he can’t have the tarantula until I show it to my husband. Cautiously, he moves in the house. From a safe spot outside, I see him spraying it. I couldn’t watch anymore. He comes out of the door holding it in his fingers. I back up in disbelief as he shakes my children’s rubber tarantula at me. I thought that was thrown away months ago after they put it on my mother-in-law’s shoulder.

It’s still the talk of the neighborhood how I called the pest control company to kill a rubber tarantula.

That night, my husband put out a mouse trap and caught the very small black mouse that caused all the trouble. How was I supposed to know that some mice are black.