City Girl and the Space Invader

Peach, a fear-filled girl like her mother, was the only person home with me when something went ‘bump’ in the night. More accurately, the something went ‘tap, tap, tap.’  My desire was to hide under the bed covers and hope that whatever made the sound would disappear. But protective mothering instincts kicked in when I realized that whatever it was could harm my little one if the only adult in the house didn’t get her trembling butt out of bed.

The sound was loud, persistent, and not reactive to me turning on every light in the house, which made me even more scared and truly on the verge of utter panic. This anxious mental state, combined with a 2 a.m. stupor, dulled my deductive reasoning capabilities. When I couldn’t find the source of the sound, I began to entertain the idea of ghosts trapped in my walls.

The tapping sound seemed to stop when I approached a certain interior wall which gave me hope that it was a living critter and not other-worldly. But it didn’t match any of the crawling, scratching sounds that I was familiar with.

When I polled friends the next day, every one of them initially offered the ‘mouse in the wall’ theory and proceeded with tales of their own experience with rodent invaders. But I too have been-there-done-that and this was no mouse!

One wise sleuth guessed ‘woodpecker’ which seemed like a possible match so I ran with it and started consulting the knower of all things. Google informed me that woodpeckers have sharply-clawed toes and and strong, pointed beaks that act as a chisel and crowbar. This is disturbing information when said bird is within the confines of one’s house. When I got to the part about a woodpecker’s 4-inch long tongue that can wrap around its skull, I closed the page. Visions of a vicious and frustrated bird pecking my brains out while clinging to my face made me shiver.

I am countrified enough to know that woodpeckers primarily eat insects, which adds a layer of disturbance as my house may be infested with termites. A reasonable thing to do would be to call an exterminator or a critter-extractor who would be happy to divest me of a large fee to rid my house of unconfirmed pests. Or, I could wait for the space invader to present itself by pecking a hole through the wall, thus declaring its exact whereabouts and whatabouts.

Neither of these options is attractive to me or to Husband who is a staunch do-it-yourselfer. But as the occurrences of nighttime prowling have not abated, we need to take action.  Suggestions are welcome..as long as they don’t involve a City Girl crawling into dark places with a gunny sack and a flashlight.

 

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