In the spring of 1999, I spent some time mountain biking in the deserts
of southern Utah. One night, I parked near a trailhead and
was going to sleep underneath the stars, but I sat in my car and wrote
letters before going to bed. I was near a canyon wall and I
lots of small rocks falling down the cliff. However, there
too many rocks falling and something seemed amiss about the whole
situation. “Hmm, I wonder if the cliff is about to
crossed my mind. Then it sounded like my foam sleeping pad
unfurling. Next it sounded like rocks falling again, just
sounded like too many rocks. Then the sounds seemed to be
from inside my car. It sounded like something rubbing against
sleeping pad. “Never mind.” I
thought. I turned off
my flashlight to look at the stars. Next thing I know I feel
something large crawl across my thigh. I jumped about a
This maneuver was made a bit more difficult by the fact that the roof
of my car was only ten centimeters above my head. I had no
what it was: lizard, mouse, or snake? An intruder was inside my car.
I heard this thing crawling around and still had no idea what it
was. I opened all the doors to let it crawl out. I
caught sight of it...it was a mouse. I
wasn’t exactly happy about this, but it was better than a
rattlesnake. I finally gave up on trying to get it out of my
and would deal with it in the morning. I enjoy sleeping under
the stars, so I went outside for the night. I placed my food
roof of the car. Usually you would put your food inside of
car to keep it from animals, but this was a different case. I
lying on the desert floor and twenty minutes later a mouse approached,
but ran off when I moved my head to see it. The next morning
I cleaned everything out of my car and couldn’t find a mouse,
find some of my food that it had chewed on.
Two nights later I parked in the same spot. It was lightly
raining off and on, so I slept in my car and heard
noises similar to the other night. The mouse was
looked at my watch; it was 12:33 a.m.
I tried to figure out where the mouse was and open the door nearest to
it. I was poking around under the seats, but this
work. I went to sleep, deciding to live with it until
the morning. Then I heard it chewing on something.
was chewing on, I didn’t know. Was it electrical
biking clothes? I didn’t know and none of these
options. I had to get rid of the critter, but I
couldn’t harm it. It was just doing what mice do
and I like
mice after all. I was unsuccessful in my efforts and the
would only move around when the lights were off. I tried to
back to sleep again, but the chewing continued to bother me.
happened several times. I heard the mouse chewing on my bread
tried to catch it. The mouse ran for it and disappeared under under the
seat. Obviously, this called for a plan....
I placed the bag such that if it were going to eat the bread, it would
have to climb into the bag. I would then grab the bag and
the mouse. After a few minutes, the mouse climbed into the
and was finally caught. I put him outside of my car and tried
sleep. It was 1:46 a.m.
It was so nice to have silence and not worry about my stuff.
lasted twenty minutes until I heard something crawling around my
car again. I had no idea how the mouse was getting in and
never had problems with mice. This had to be the same mouse
it was able get into my car. I saw the
mouse on the passenger floor. I jumped at it, trying to catch
under a piece of plastic. It ran into the heating vents and
disappeared. I could then hear the mouse crawling around the
ventilation system for a while. This was really annoying, as
just seemed to mock me.
Eventually the mouse crawled out of the vents. I saw it at
various places in the car. I'd a diving leap for it over the
seats and try to trap it under a jacket or corner it under the
dashboard, but to no avail. It always evaded me and seemed to
so without any difficulty. I continued to stalk him and tried
number of different tactics, but nothing seemed to work. The
mouse was always one step (scamper?) ahead of me.
My furry nemesis finally decided that it wanted more food and starting
poke around the bread. I set the trap again and finally
after a ten-minute wait. This time I wouldn’t make
mistake and the mouse was gently deposited far away from the car. It really was a
cute little guy. Whiskers, light brown fur, and neat-looking
black eyes. So a slightly disoriented mouse and a mountain
with a smile (from both amusement and the thrill of victory) on his
face parted ways. It was 3:36 a.m.
While the world goes on with its business, nations rise and
fall, and galaxies explode, I find myself in the desert, engaged in a
three-hour and three-minute pitched battle…with a mouse.