One Good Reason to be Married

Rodent disposal is a man’s job. Call me sexist, if you will, but I will move out of my house before I scoop up and throw away a dead thing with a long icky tail. When the husband is out-of-town, the job is passed along to the son.

Never mind that it was 2:30 in the morning and that my husband had driven home from a conference six hours away to make it just in time for our daughter’s high school graduation. Never mind that he was exhausted. I woke him up any way because rodent disposal is his job.

Jack the bad dog bounded out of the house, barked ferociously, and did not come back inside. I got out of bed, went to the back door, and peered out into the dark back yard. I couldn’t see him. My immediate thought is always that my dog will be coyote food, so I tend to panic if I can’t find him. I turned on the outside light. Still no sign of Jack.

I heard the jingle of the tags on his collar and some growling, just like when he plays tug-of-war with me and a toy. Then I heard an unmistakable crunch, and glancing the way of the sound, I saw him. He dropped the thing he had been chewing on and frolicked over to me, all smiles.

I ran back to my room, Jack on my heels, whispering, so as not to wake everyone else, “Eew Jack. Don’t touch me. Go away.”

He obliged, heading back out through the dog door. Stupdily, I ventured out after him, barefooted. Somehow my curiosity about what he had caught had gotten the better of me. He picked the thing up in his mouth and headed for the door, prancing proudly as if bringing me a lovely gift. “Look what I killed, Mom. Want some?”

I slammed the door in his face. He took the thing to a corner of the yard, dropped it, and came back in through the dog door. That’s when I woke the man. “Go find out what Jack just killed.”

Jack had a totally different reaction when alpha dog Dad went out into the yard. Jack followed slowly, his curly tail stretched out. He can’t put it between his legs, but it was hanging down uncharacteristically. He frowned “Was I not supposed to eat that? Wait, was that part of the family like that guinea pig thing? Are you mad at me?”

My husband patted him on the head and told him to go inside. Jack looked relieved.

“A opossum,” my husband said as he crawled back in between the sheets. Jack curled up in bed next to his daddy, knowing he better keep well away from me. But he was restless. Sleep was impossible. His catch was still waiting for him out in the grass. He popped his head up, stared out the back door, put his head down, popped it up again. Finally, it was too much for him. Out he went, through the dog door, and the crunching resumed.

“I have to get rid of it tonight, don’t I?” Smart husband.

“Yes. If you don’t, he’s going to end up bringing it inside.”

So, off went my hero, plastic bag in hand, to dispose of the dreaded rodent. I was left thanking God for my husband and hoping that Old Opossum Breath spent the rest of the night far away from me. I am capable of many, many accomplishments, but rodent disposal is his job.

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