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Opinion

No more empty nesting

We thought we were “empty nesters.” The kids left home long ago. I guess Jerry and I need to think of them as adults now that they are in their 50s and are, themselves, empty nesters. Then we had an incident which made me realize we will never totally be empty nesters. The difference is our residents now have four to eight legs.

Our eight-legged one made his presence known as he wove a web midway up, between my kitchen window and screen. I decided that we rarely have company so why not leave it: 1) it catches the little bugs before they, too, become residents; 2) it actually looks rather pretty when the sunrise hits it; 3) I don’t have to get out the step-stool and climb over the sink to clean it out.

I have no problem with that little spider doing his thing in our window. I have named him Herman as he appears to be a hermit and is rarely seen. Jerry, however, has an entirely different attitude. He thinks cobwebs are a dead give-away of poor housekeeping; so alas, the time came when I decided I’d best destroy all of Herman’s hard work. The footstool came out, and as the window came up Herman put his eight legs into action and disappeared down an open hole in the window frame. I climbed over the kitchen sink, the web came down, and the windows were washed.

The next morning we ate our cereal in the faded shadow of the brand-new web — the exact replica of Herman’s previous one. Even Jerry realized the futility of destroying all of Herman’s handy work, so the web stayed there in plain sight until we were cleaning for Sunday company a couple of weeks later. Monday morning we viewed the sunrise sparkling off Herman’s third creation cradled in his usual location. It’s still there.

So now we are down to our four-footed friends. Roxi, our pretty little calico with an attitude, is top on the list. She finally started to earn her room and board. From our family room easy-chairs, we heard Roxi pouncing around the dining room. Down the steps she scrambled and stopped with her nose twitching at the book-basket by the door. Upon lifting the basket, a tiny gray critter darted toward my feet. Now I’m not afraid of mice, but I have to admit I did a dance. But the little bugger made a sharp right and disappeared under Jerry’s recliner. Hoping it would run out, I lifted the chair from the back then let it fall back down. Jerry then lifted the back while I inspected underneath. Roxi had batted a few things under so I scooted them out – then I saw it! That poor tiny little mouse was squashed in half from the bar around the chair base.

Now we’re wondering how many little siblings it had. They left some evidence in the bottom drawer of our stove. Knowing their hangout, I set two traps under the stove. Five minutes later we had another one.

Our little mouser, Roxi, was a busy girl. The next morning, what I thought was a fur-ball turned out to be a little brother or sister of our recliner friend. Roxi had left us a gift on the dining room floor. Thereafter, she rousted them out from their hiding places and played with them a bit, then I came along with the broom. I actually felt bad about ruining Roxi’s fun. She would watch over them for a while, then scoot their flat little carcasses around a bit, like — “Get up and play with me!” We now have six less four-footed residents. With no evidence of more — so far.

Last night she cornered a six-legged cricket, so it appears we are now back down to one eight-legged critter, and one four-legged mouser. Should any other vermin show up, Roxi’s ready and my broom is handy. What a team!

Don’t forget to F-R-O-G.

Note to readers: Earlene Campbell lives by the FROG motto — Fully Rely On God. She lives in Princeton and can be reached at earlenecampbell@rocketmail.com.

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