Twenty minutes before the start of the open house, someone saw Algernon streak across the kitchen floor. Algernon was one of S’s three pet mice. The mice were okay, as pets go, except for Algernon, who should have been named Houdini because he was always escaping from his tank.
We put the newspaper on the floor in the general area of the last Algernon sighting. Then we put a few Cocoa Puffs on the paper. The shoe box was positioned at an angle over the cocoa puffs and propped up with the stick, to which we had tied the string. Then we cleared out and waited for Algernon to go Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.
It took about five minutes, but eventually Algernon stealthily approached the Cocoa Bait. He sat on his haunches under the shady cabana and picked up a puff with his paws. He took a tentative nibble, cocked his head to the side, and announced, “Not bad. Not bad at all!”. That’s when I yanked the string and the box fell down, trapping the cocky little bastard underneath.
A raucous cheer went up inside the hen house and high fives were exchanged all around. I wrapped the sides of the newspaper around the box and flipped it over. S slammed the shoe box top over the newspaper.
The door bell rang. It was Go Time. I answered the door, with a welcoming smile on my face and a shoe box tucked snugly under one arm.