Note: Musa is the Nepali word for mouse
Maya flinched in her room at the sound of her mom calling her from two floors down.
“What is ittt? Waittt! Mommm!… I’m on my wayyy!” Maya called back as loud as she could, removing herself from her desk. She braced herself for the second call as she reached the door.
Maya sighed audibly as she made her way downstairs to respond to her mom’s summons. What is with this long-distance shouting match! Is it lunchtime? she thought to herself. Ah, my phone…forget it. Halfway down she shouted “Almost there!” before her mom would call for the third time.
Her mom was in the corridor leading to the kitchen. The smell of cooked chicken filled the air. Nice! she thought looking forward to lunch. Her focus was brought back when her mom pointed at the metallic cage trap on the floor.
“Look. We caught it.” Her mom said, happy at the accomplishment. “It’s a really big mouse.”
Maya stood next to her mom. She leaned down to take a closer look at the trapped creature. A mouse was sitting still at a corner. It flinched slightly at the arrival of the second human.
“That is not big!” Maya observed. It looks cute and plump…so tiny, she thought to herself.
Before she could say more, her mom explained, “It was caught last night. When I came downstairs to get a glass of water, I saw it in the trap! All it took was half a potato to lure it in!
“The mouse sat still. Its round eyes staring at nothing. It seemed resigned to its fate. The half-potato, now nowhere to be seen had become its last meal.
“So what are we going to do with it?” Maya asked. “What now?”
“Well…we will drown it.” her mom responded a bit unsure.
Maya imagined drowning the mouse. It would probably struggle a lot. She dismissed the thought. Her mom seemed to be thinking the same.
“Or we could take it far from home and release it,” her mom continued, a bit unsure.
“Mom, we are in the middle of a city. If we release it, then it will just go to another house. We can’t do that.” Maya replied staring at the mouse. Why did you have to be so cute?
“Well, we do have that old bottle of chloroform somewhere in the storeroom. That will work. Go fetch it.” her mom said after thinking for a while.
It does feel like a less cruel way, Maya thought, But wait, now?
“Kill it now? Right before lunch!?” said Maya, “I’m not dealing with this before lunch!” She was pretty sure she would lose her appetite after doing the deed. Maya felt a slight headache coming. She remembered the pet cat she had when she was younger.
“Yes, that’ll probably be better. Let’s think about this after lunch,” her mom replied as she started moving back to the kitchen to check on the food, “It will be ready soon.
Maya looked at the mouse then back at her mom.
“Mom, I’ll finish my work and come down in 20 minutes for lunch,” she said moving towards the stairs. She slowly started her journey back to her room.
Ah, I miss my cat. Why won’t they just let me have one!
Back in her room, Maya stared at the bright computer screen.
Right. The report. It won’t write itself! Focus Maya! Let’s do this!