"Probably just the cleaning staff eating poppy seed bagels." I suggested with a straight face.
"It seems those poppy seeds are scratching in the wall too." she said.
I offered her a $5 bounty on every one she could trap or stomp on with her bare feet, and said I would credit it towards the cabin rental. I had been joking of course, I know every critter has its season, and set out traps and gave my highly trained cats marching orders re: mouse invasion, and cut down on their treats for an afternoon.
The day of her visit the next week, I thought it might be really humorous to set out a little toy mouse in some spot in there she was sure to see it, getting a huge chuckle out of it I'm sure. Having guard-cats around here I have a selection of toy mice at hand for their relaxation and my entertainment, most have been cat chewed to near pieces, but there was one more or less intact, at least it still had both ears and a tail intact. It resembled a mouse for sure, although a somewhat comical, lopsided cartoon mouse, and certainly not one to be taken too seriously I wouldn't think. I wandered around in there giggling to myself while trying different locations, I wanted a good effect of course, but not too good. In my time I've known several youth worker types, and they didn't seem to be afraid of anything, so I figured I was pretty safe. In the end I chose the top of a wooden counter. I tried it myself several times, walking in like I'm going into the washroom, flick the light on and see this cartoonish mousie there, giggling to myself and thinking how funny Jeanne was going to think this was. Nothing like a silly little joke to lighten up the end of a long, hard day.
Later that evening, I had gone on to other things, and had pretty much forgotten about my little mouse trap set to go off in the guest cabin. I had been watering the lawn out back and winding up the hose when Jeanne drove in, parked her pickup in behind and waved to me before taking her bags boxes and stuff and heads for the cabin.
I had just finished with the hose, when I hear a piercing scream, not unlike tires on asphalt. There was a series of loud thumps, followed by furniture crashing and what sounded like someone killing something with the broom. Then complete silence.
It all came back to me right about then, and decided this may be a good time to go check the pelton-wheel generator, over there across the road, where no-one will look for me. I snuck back in the yard later under cover of darkness.
Next day I recieved an email that started with, 'Har, har, har...'
Turns out my little mouse gag had spectacular results. She had staggered in with all her bags at the end of a long hard day and was looking forward to a little quiet time. Being in particular need of the washroom at the moment she placed her bags on the floor and stepped forward and flicked the light switch on.
Jeanne returned home that week and related the grizzly mouse story to her 4 year old daughter, whom rolled in fits of laughter at her Mom's story. She encouraged her Mom to take a little rubber bug she had and put it out to scare me back the next week. Fortunately, her Mom had warned me beforehand so no-one would get too scared. I sent a note for her Mom to read to her detailing the story of how the cleaning lady had gone out there and bumped into this huge bug in the sink and ran out screaming, and it took me all day to get her to come down out of the tree!
A truce has been called, and all stuffed mice and over sized bugs have been put away.