Saturday, April 11, 2009
The Mouse and His Boy
Alright, enough preaching already. I will get off my soapbox and get back to some funny Bryan stories. No apologies though; I can't help myself when I remember that tomorrow isn't promised to any one of us. I just wanted to make sure we all know that Jesus saves. Easter does that to me.
Okay, so we have lately had some issues with rodents around here in the Fitzpatrick home. First, an infestation of little mice. Bob went to work with dozens of tiny traps and laffy taffy. I think we caught ten the first two nights. Then a discovery of great big rats in the garage and shed and junipers caused him to put a few huge well-placed rat traps around the outside perimeter. Disgusting. Rodents gross me out. They freak me out too, if the truth must be told. I wake up in the middle of the night fearing one has eaten a way through my ceiling (they were in the attic) and is peering down at me with its hungry beady eyes. EEWWWW! I am ready to bring in the professionals but I must let my man be our fierce protector.
When I was a kid, Bryan was the rodent specialist. I told you about the mouse he shot clean through in the bathroom while protecting the women and children in the house. Okay, just me. He was only saving me. And then there were the squirrels outside my parents window. He was annoyed by their terrible chirping, could never figure out where the sound came from. When he finally surmised that it was the squirrels who had built a condominium complex in our back slope, he set up shop in the laundry room with his BB gun again. He began his systematic extermination of the critters. No more early morning alarm clocks from non-rent paying squirrels. Rodents. Disgusting.
One spring he was in charge of mouse trap patrol. He set them up and cleaned them out. Not a job for the faint of heart. Bryan carried out his duties with determination and valor. And then he went to check on a trap that had just went off. He found a tiny little mouse struggling and writhing in pain. The peanut butter untasted. Bryan went all sappy. He freed the mouse. Made a little shoebox hospital for it. Ministered to its medical needs as best as an untrained teenaged boy could. Even placed some water and a bit of cheese beside its injured body. He intended to care for it until it made its recovery.
My mom put an abrupt end to those delusions. "Get that thing out of my house Bryan." Out it went, into the cold dark night. I almost get choked up when I think about it.
Bryan was distraught about a disgusting little rodent. When he woke in the morning, his first thoughts were for that hapless mouse. He ran out to see how it had fared and found it dead and cold. He cried. I am not joking. My big brave brother cried. For a mouse that died in one of the traps he set for it. Bryan gave it a proper burial. I think he mourned its death--he felt the weight of his guilt. It was really very sweet. If it weren't so funny. He was so mad at me for laughing. I was a cold-hearted human.
Bryan was not. He was one of the most tender-hearted people I know. He had the gift of mercy. He was always especially moved by the plight of the down and out and the down-trodden. I witnessed him go out of his way to help folks in hard circumstances over and over again. I will save those stories for another time. Today's story shows how even the animal kingdom benefited from Bryan's merciful heart. And so did I. Though I still insist the mice and rats stay OUTSIDE my home.
Posted by Reilly Fitzpatrick at 8:37 AM