“Mom! Mom! There’s a rat in the window!” Not exactly what a mother wants to hear while she’s busy cooking, feeding a baby in a high chair, and caller ID says her mother-in-law wants to chat. Once again, just when a parent feels everything’s under control, something happens to bring everything to a screeching halt and toss chaos back into the mix.
Sighing and slightly freaked, this busy mom turned off the burner, checked the oven, made sure baby was secure and had enough on the tray to keep her occupied for a moment, and headed outside to face whatever nature had in store. Sure enough, her three children and a couple of neighborhood kids she didn’t even know were in her backyard were gathered around the window well that led into her basement office. They weren’t just gathered, they were actively prodding whatever it was with sticks. Sticks were confiscated, and nerves were steeled as she looked down. A large rat lay dead in the window well, amongst the rocks and debris the children had tossed down there over the summer. It looked like it may have died of natural causes, and a while ago, judging by the degree of decay.
This wasn’t the first time this had happened. A few years prior, a skunk had fallen in the window well and couldn’t get out. She had tried for a while to tempt it out, by putting a long piece of wood from the shed down in there, hoping it would climb back out. It just scared it and the skunk almost sprayed in the window well, which would surely have resulted in a horrible smell throughout the basement, if not the whole house. Fortunately, she ended up calling Allstate Animal Control, and they got the skunk out of the window well. That was the year they got the metal grate coverings. Apparently, the openings were wide enough to let a rat fall down in there and breathe its last.
Mom quickly assessed the situation and got everyone moving: dead rat in the window well should be removed as soon as possible so it wouldn’t bring smells and bugs into the yard and house, neighbor kids were sent home, her children were sent inside to wash up and finish feeding baby, while she finished cooking dinner and called for dead animal removal. She had enough to deal with. The thought of crawling down in the window well to remove a dead rat was just not on her to-do list, and she knew Allstate Animal Control would take care of it soon enough.
She allowed herself a quick, satisfied smile, knowing that once again she’d successfully dealt with yet another problem. Then, she heard a crash from the kitchen and knew it was going to be a long night.