I am sitting here and it is thunder-storming outside, it is 3.30pm however it looks like it is 9pm, it’s that dark outside it’s as if death is upon us. I’ve just come home from picking my 6 year old from school, and as we made our way to the car, splitter splattering in the heavy rain that surrounded us my little one asked me “so mummy what did you do today”? I think back to the day that was, and replied “I had an exterminator come over”; she replied “what’s an externator mum”? Being a typical mum I replied “an ex-ter-min- a-tor is someone who comes and sprays chemicals to kill bugs like cockroaches that live in our house”. She had gone silent for a while, we had reached our car finally, hopping into the car she looks directly at me with big brown eyes and asks, “you mean to say that you got someone to come and kill innocent small animals, who’ve done nothing wrong to you”? I was dumb founded; I didn’t know how to reply to that. I let the question/comment stew in my mind a bit before I answered, she asked “mum what’s wrong, why did you get someone to kill the innocent animals”? I finally had the courage to answer “yes these were insects, and if we don’t get rid of them they can cause a lot of problems in the house and to us, you see these insect don’t belong in houses they belong out in the bush”. Again she looked right at me with big brown eyes and simply stated “well couldn’t he just have picked the insects up with a net and taken them to the bush and leave them there instead of killing them”? I started to get a little annoyed by all this questioning regarding pesty rodents who quite frankly in my opinion deserve to die, “no you can’t catch all the insects with nets as there is too many, and you have to remember many of these insects can harm humans, like spiders, you don’t want a spider biting an exterminator on the butt, do you”? That was it she burst into her giggles.
As we arrived the storm had begun plunging the entire neighbourhood into darkness, my little one set on a mission to find dead insects and pick them up and bury them in the backyard. Off course she couldn’t find any which left her a bit disappointed, and she doubted that an externator had come to our house. To calm her down I sat her down on my lap and said “we need to wait for the chemicals to work and then we’ll see the insects come out, perhaps tomorrow they’ll come out”, she said in her muffled voice “what if the insects area waiting to haunt us tonight”? I could do nothing but laugh to that.
As the afternoon progressed into evening and the storm ceased, turning the air bitterly cold, we noticed something strange. Whilst having dinner we heard strange scratching sounds coming from the wall, it was like the screeching sound of nails scratching against a chalkboard, like our teachers use to do to get us to listen. We’ve never heard anything like this from our walls. Soon, a small section of the wall began to crack and soon a little tinny hole appeared. A rat climbed through the hole, followed by a cockroach and a string of tinny ants and behind them was a large fearful looking huntsman. The two of us looked in shock and horror as the rodents climbed up on top of the dinner table. Normally I would jump at the site of an insect but not today, I was in total shock and remained sitting at the table. The rat came up to my plate and placed its front paws on my plate and seemed to be smirking at me, its big giant teeth hanging out of its mouth. It did something that made be faint. It spoke to me!!! In a deep voice it said “pesky human, what have you put in our homes, one by one all our friends are dead or are dying”? I faint and fall flat on my dinner plate; my daughter manages to wake me. I lift my head off the dinner plate, spaghetti all over my face, I look up and the rat is starring at my face again, his now standing on two feet, with one tapping and arms crossed over his chest; “so human what have you got to say for yourself huh”? Still groggy and unsure of myself I say “what”? “You have put something in our homes, and, and you have killed us”, I have to say what I say next wasn’t the most smartest thing I have ever said “if I’ve killed you all, then what are you doing here, alive and talking to me”? I had set the rodent off and he started to look furious, my little one understood that I had angered the rodents, but, I well let’s just say that I made a terrible impression upon them. “You don’t belong here, this isn’t your home, get out of here and never come back”, I scoff at the insects. Well that was enough to set them off.
The rat began by bear kicking my dinner plate so it landed on my face, as if my face needed more food on it. This infuriated me, I stood and took my fork in my hand, prepared to strike, however I was ill prepared. The rat jumped off the table making a run for his life, running between the tables, I turn on all fours and crawl behind, banging and bumping on every chair, corner, and running into table cloths and plastics on the way. In the meantime the cockroaches and ants make the most of the un-eaten food on the table and feast till they could eat no more. I realise I wasn’t making much progress on all fours so I stand up on my feet and give chase, I run into the biggest web I had ever seen, trying to tear away the web from my face, which clung on due to the food, I accidentally step on the spider which bites me, aghhh. Hoping on one foot I see the rat run behind the sofa and make a swift move and I corner the rodent, he is unable to escape, I am not sure what to do, I have a silly fork in my hand, and I see a vase next to the sofa and pick that up instead. The rat looks terrified it knows I have it cornered, I begin to think; should I kill it, of course I should I just spent $200 on pest treatment, no I shouldn’t, what sort of example am I setting for my daughter. Whilst I am busy thinking, the rat jumps up onto the sofa, I’m not sure rats are supposed to jump like that, but this one jumped not once but twice; once onto the top of the sofa and the next to grab a bite at my nose. Ouch the pain, the blood. I feel faint again and collapse. “Mum, mum, mum, wake up”! Dreary I wake up, first instinct tells me to check my nose, its fine there’s no blood, “what happened”? I ask still not sure what just happened. “You fell asleep while working on your laptop, and I was playing and now I’m hungry, what’s for dinner”? “Um did you hear or see anything”, “no mum, why’d you ask?”!!
Thank god that was dream!!!
By Zafirah Akbar