Splendiferous as the vision of my highly polished engine was, more importantly, of the two traps I had set, neither was visible.
As I approached the engine bay my unassisted vision noted that thankfully, no plug leads had been chewed. Over the back, between the engine and the firewall I located my first trap. Not surprisingly it’s been set off but has captured nothing; as for its counterpart, search as I did with my six-lamp, three-triple-A-battery, LED powered flashlight in hand, up, down and all around the area, the second trap, along with perhaps the first rodent, was nowhere to be seen.
As I was down on my hands and knees searching for the trap I put together some theories. The trap I did retrieve appeared to have been the one that had been covering the number one plug; the lost trap was the one over the number four, or previously damaged plug. What I presumed therefore, was that said rodent had come along entertaining projections of gorging himself upon my juicy spark plug leads, sniffed some three-year-old Pam’s peanut butter, thought ‘better yet’, attempted to scoop up the stale spread with its paw, suddenly ‘ping’ goes the old-school timber-and-wire constructed trap, it comes away with a hell of a start, also perhaps a fractured limb and/or hefty attachment, leaps in the air, sets off the other trap which topples downwards, where the rodent then, presumably three-leggedly, dashes away to seek cover.
Also while I’m down there searching away with my LED light on hands and knees like a common peasant, clucking from the adjacent property offers a timely reminder that hens produce eggs. It’s an odd thought to have jump into one’s head, admittedly, but from there I was able to make the association that rats in fact rather enjoy the smooth flavour of poultry placenta or, more to the point, the yolk that lies within. Thus given that my neighbour’s chicken coop abuts the rear of my garage, I think it’s likely that these ‘Rat’ yarns might just become increasingly abundant.
Anyway, those were my theories and at the time I thought them pretty damned feasible; maybe even good enough to qualify for Wednesday’s ‘Theory’ slot; I don’t know, you tell me.
Oh and, one more thing, the following Tuesday evening, which is incidentally, yesterday in real time, I had just driven two or three hundred metres down the road, hit a bump – which with performance suspension is most everything on the road surface – and heard a clatter. I knew instantly what it was so performed a pleasantly erratic U-turn and went back. Even with prescribed vision I couldn’t see anything, least of all a dead rodent in a mouse trap.
So there I am, jogging along the roadside wearing a navy puffer jacket over my, predictably convivial red, NZ Blood Service T-shirt above a pair of Napisan-white jiu-jitsu pants, which on account of the length look as though they are about five years too small for me, also sneakers with broken elastic laces, and a car flies past. I hear a clatter. I run towards the sound, still not seeing anything amid the fading light, just running towards the sound. The little daub of peanut butter gives it away.
Something’s life has ended but it was sure as hell not that bloody rodent.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Roe Dant
Photography by Rip Muss-Trapp