2008.06.11 Pound! Pound! What's there?

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

It’s 3:33 a.m. Do you know where your house animals are? Ours are safely ensconced in our walls.

“I think you should turn the light on,” my wife said recently. “There’s something in the room. It’s not in the walls. It’s in the room. I can hear it.”

I listened and determined it was the slowly unwadding piece of plastic wrap my wife had removed from a package of tissues and thrown toward the waste basket. We got through that early-morning emergency without much trouble, but it wasn’t the end.

I suppose Colleen had good reason to think there might be an animal in the room. Or at least the walls. We seem to be visited most every night.

These night visitors are causing a degree of creeping fear to grow in our bedroom. For me, it’s not the animal in the wall. I can handle that OK. It’s the fear of Colleen screaming or of her madly whipping the covers around or nearly jumping on top of me to elude the beast.

I know the beast is in the walls. She knows it might be hiding behind the dresser.

One night last week we moved in an entirely different direction. Quite entertaining, actually, but it didn’t start out that way. It began with an element of fear.

It was probably 3:33 again. It’s a beastly time of night lately.

Colleen had come to bed after her usual midnight musings and the scratching began in the walls.

We talked about what kind of animal it might be. She said it was probably a raccoon or possum, but I disagreed. It couldn’t possibly be either one of those.

“Whatever it is, it’s quiet,” I said. “It doesn’t say anything.”

That’s when the room suddenly exploded with squirrel talk. It caught me off guard. I quickly realized it was Colleen—she does an excellent squirrel imitation, especially for a big city girl—but it raised the adrenaline level. You don’t expect a loudly calling squirrel in a dark bedroom.

She figured if it were a squirrel she might get an answer, but there was only silence. Not a squirrel, we surmised.

“It’s not a chimpanzee,” I offered.

“It’s not a rooster,” she suggested.

“How do you know it’s not a rooster?” I asked.

“We haven’t heard it crowing,” she answered.

Of course not. I was a little slow to catch on to this game, but unlike Ms. Leddy, I had been asleep for several hours.

“What’s the enemy of a possum?” I asked. “You could make that noise and scare it away.”

That would probably be a fox.

“But they don’t make a noise,” she said.

“Sure they do,” I said. “They bark.”

I was truly amazed that we were having this conversation at this time of the night.

“Listen!” she said.

I listened. It was the gurgling of my digestive system that had been awakened from slumber.

A little later I heard something else, but it turned out to be her breathing through slightly clogged nostrils.

Then we both heard something else. It sounded like a high-pitched dog bark and that’s exactly what it was—a dog somewhere across the block.

I don’t know how we got into all of these other sounds because they’re not the animal in the walls.

The animal in the walls lives an extremely odd life. Sometimes when I hear it scratching, I think about its plight, moving up and down the lathe strips in a narrow passageway, always in the dark, always in the hot, stuffy air of the walls. Is it trapped? It can’t be; it must come out for food now and then, but why is the wall space such an attractive return destination?

Perhaps it enjoys communicating with us. It makes this odd vibrating sound like it’s beating against a lathe strip. We answer by pounding on the wall in hopes of scaring it away.

In my mind, the only sensible answer to this continuing dilemma is that it’s a bat. I don’t know why it enjoys the trips up and down the walls. Maybe it’s the best thing short of a cave.

Last night I felt something pricking on my leg. I feared it might be a wasp crawling around. Colleen thought animal in the walls and wanted the lights on quickly. It’s taken over our night thoughts.

Pound! Pound!

Who’s there?

I just don’t know.

I just don’t know who?

Just shut up and let me go to sleep.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017