He took refuge in a sacred place.
No one knew how he had infiltrated the land. That didn't matter. What mattered was that he was there. He had been seen and when he was, he hid. He scurried into the nooks and crannies of his sacred refuge.
Nothing would bring him out. Many techniques were tried. Noise. Arms. Gas. Fire. And then just waiting him out.
He was given the chance to leave peacefully, with full amnesty, but perhaps that was tried to quickly. Perhaps he should have been left alone, allowed to calm down and gain our trust.
But in the end it was decided: we will not deal with terrorists.
And so, we pretended to give in to his demands.
Knowing, all the while, we had no intention of letting him get away.
The trap was set. He offered him what he wanted.
But that sneaky little conniving rat . . . took the money and ran . . .
* * *
OK, so we weren't really dealing with a terrorist. But I felt like I was in the middle of a hostage situation last night.
My wife heard a noise in the stove. I pulled out the drawer from beneath the oven and there was a mouse, crawling under the cookie sheets. It jumped out of the drawer and ran back under the stove.
After that, it disappeared. There was nowhere for it to go, so my wife and I stood and watched, the back door open and a broom ready to guide it on its way outside.
Of course, he did not come out.
I tried scaring it out by banging on the stove. Nothing.
I tried putting the broom under the stove and moving it around. Nothing.
I tried turning the oven on and sweating him out. Nothing.
Finally, I tried putting a piece of cheese with peanut butter on it in the doorway and my wife and I waited and watched, ready to shoo him out as soon as he went for it.
Yeah, right, like that was going to happen.
Then it was decided. Peaceful negotiations were over. We gave the thing a chance to just leave quietly.
But now our only alternative was violence.
I set three traps, very strategically.
The mouse ate the peanut butter from one trap.
He's still with us today.
But tonight . . .
Yes, tonight . . .