From the late-night scratching and pitter-pattering, we convince ourselves we have rats or mice in the attic. My wife asks me to peek and verify the species. You can tell by the size of the droppings, she declares. Rat droppings are larger and thicker than mouse droppings.
No, I am not sticking my face up there! I protest. I will call an exterminator.
she urges him to get
The exterminator comes to inspect and gives us the bad news. We have rats, and judging from the extensive urine stains and piles of droppings, they have been there for a long time. He recommends we remove all the insulation, clean and disinfect the entire attic, seal off all entry points, and reinstall insulation materials treated with a pest deterrent. All for the bargain price of $5,000.
vermin come in all shapes
—Previously published in Narrow Road
(Volume 3, December 2017, page 65); appears here with the
is a CPA, attorney, and poet who lives in Los Angeles, California. His writing has been widely published in prestigious poetry journals, has been translated into several languages, and has won numerous awards worldwide. Michael’s recent publications include two illustrated children’s books, Cassandra and the Strange Tale of the Blue-Footed Boobies and Johnny and Frankie’s Summer Sleepover, as well as a book of poetry, Notes from a Commode: Volume I. A fourth book, The Squeeping Catterwhip, is now available on Amazon.
25 Death Poems: Edited and Introduced by Michael H. Lester,
a Special Feature in Atlas Poetica
Birds Do It Better, haibun by Lester in Contemporary Haibun
Online (January 2019, Volume 15, Number 2)