|Disco Dancer. Mixed media, 8" x 10"|
To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.
To add a little excitement to our lives, we thought we had a rat on board! At night we could hear an animal jogging around on the deck, lap after lap. We suspected a rat because he made so much noise, though we couldn’t imagine how one could get on board, as we were out at anchor. After a couple nights, Ed got a look at it and decided it was only a mouse.
Ed wanted to catch the mouse on deck, rather than inside the boat. When night came, we’d close the boat up tight – all the ports and hatches, with the exception of the companionway. When we heard the fellow doing his nightly run, we’d shut the companionway.
Ed set a couple of traps, but they were duly ignored. The mouse came back into the boat through a ventilator shaft. The next night, Ed stuffed all the shafts with dishtowels. The mouse pulled out a towel, and went down the shaft.
The following night, Ed was ready for him. Ed made a long tube out of an old sail. He attached it at the bottom of a shaft, with strings at the top to make a bag of it. Ed added a towel at the top of the ventilator shaft to mislead the mouse. He blocked the other vents with cans.
Well, the mouse frolicked around, and then I guess he settled down for a nap. Ed finally went on deck with a big stick. He found the mouse in one of the rope coils on the cabin top, and managed a couple of glancing blows. The mouse escaped, headed for the cockpit, and that was the last we saw of him. Ed took the whole cockpit apart, and went through every conceivable hiding place he could think of. It’s possible the mouse went out through one of the scupper holes, and right into the water.
How did this fellow get on Tropic Moon? Our best guess is that he came home from work with Ed, in Ed’s tote bag. We’re pretty sure he didn’t swim out to the boat. And, even though he cost us several nights’ sleep, I couldn’t help but hope he made it back to shore.