Life’s Lessons


Country life and its uninvited guests

I was watching for something with some levity for this column (I’ve had enough serious stuff for now!) and the subject hopped right into my life.

Now, I’m a “country girl” at heart. (“Girl” used loosely here.) Though out of necessity I have lived for short periods of time in towns, and even three years in the city of Chicago just a mile north of the loop, I’m still about as country as you can get.

So when I bought my present home in the country, I was not surprised by the country aspects of it – including uninvited guests like mice. Apparently, this house is known among the mouse kingdom as a safe haven and I’ve been mobbed. Though I fight the battle, I think they still win!

But, enough about mice!

The other night at bedtime, I was doing my usual walk-through, putting the house to bed. Lights were mostly turned off so I couldn’t see too clearly just what or who else was still up. My roommate had long since retired. Kelly was in bed. Yet, I detected movement on the living room floor.

Now, as I said, I’m well acquainted with the mouse population and, though I do occasionally see one scurrying across the living room floor, the movement wasn’t right for it to be a mouse.

It hopped! Oh, a cricket of course! But wait. Crickets are not usually so quiet.

I reached down and tried to catch the critter, only to discover I was co-habitating with a small toad. Though I did get my hand on the little guy, he was quicker than I and happily hopped away to his freedom.

A couple of days passed and I didn’t even think of it again.

Then, I moved the towel I keep at Kelly’s water bucket and there he was! Quickly, I made my move. Even more quickly, the toad reacted. Where he had taken refuge under the towel until disturbed, he now evaded capture by hopping under my dresser.

It was not quite out of sight, out of mind. I did think about that little fellow from time to time, even kept watch for him but to no avail.

Then last night he showed himself again. Apparently, Kelly’s watering hole was also a favorite hang-out for the toad, for when I went into the bathroom there he was basking in all the comforts of home.

Wiser now to his likely movements, having tried twice before to capture the guy, I quietly got a washcloth and dropped it on him. In this way, I was able to pick him up and take him to his new home in the great outdoors, where he could truly be free.

Of course, he didn’t know I meant him no harm, that I would only offer a better home if he would let me.

Aren’t we sometimes like that little toad? We settle in and are quite happy and content with the status quo. If we could see the end from the beginning we, too, would realize God means us no ill. He just wants to prepare us for the life hereafter, when we can be at home with Him.

Though His plans may not coincide with ours, His are always for our good. He says His plans for us are for good and not for evil. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Country life and its uninvited guests