farm life

The Devil Underneath the Bath Tub

I couldn’t sleep. When I did sleep I found myself dreaming about strange things and when I woke… it was before my six thirty AM alarm. I heard a sound I couldn’t place and discovered not everything in my dream had been locked inside my mind. Was it coming from the roof?

I blinked several times to try and wake myself up. It had been raining for days so perhaps the sound was radiating from the trees. Sometimes water collects on leaves until it’s too heavy to hold. Branches bow and fat droplets make crazy noises when hitting shingles. It didn’t really didn’t sound like that though. More like banging… or gnawing. A shiver shook me from head to toe.

Barn cats playing above my head? Sometimes they get a mischievous glint in their eyes during witching hour. They tear across the pasture, sink claws into bark and shimmy their way up to chase one another on top of my house. If I were to guess… I would say something was trying to eat it’s way- in. I was wide awake now.

I ran outside wearing only an over sized sweater, tiny pink shorts, and my muck boots. Wild red hair piled and knotted atop my head. Thankfully I have hardly any neighbors because even astronauts would have been blinded by my white chicken drumsticks for legs. I grabbed a handful of rocks and launched them (rather poorly) at my own house. I missed and nearly hit a window instead.

When I came back inside everything was silent again. Nothing but a rush of cold air blowing from my vents. So I breathed a sigh of relief, kicked off my boots, and tip-toed back to bed. I was asleep for less than half an hour and the devil was back. This time the gnawing was so loud, it seemed to shake my bedroom wall. I shot into a sitting position, ice blue eyes flaming with anger and rimmed in red.

I thought about the squirrel who lives inside a massive crimson maple. He once lectured me in his accusatory squeaky tone for stepping into his domain. Right before the little jerk chucked a half eaten acorn. I had been trying to refill water buckets for animals on my farm and that stupid acorn nailed me in noggin. He had much better aim than I did.

Hey! I have to live here too you know!” I yelled as I rubbed the lump forming on my head.

That seriously hurt!” He didn’t care.

I wondered if squirrels could eat through the roof of a house. I grabbed my cellphone and propped it up in the window where (If I was lucky) I could get one bar of service. The page loaded and I almost woke Nikolai up when I squealed in delight. After clicking on the most relevant link to my question, I learned squirrels can indeed eat through the roof on a house. This was not great news for someone who lives on eleven plus acres- in the woods- surrounded by squirrels.

The gnawing continued but it didn’t sound like it was coming from the roof anymore. It sounded like it was in the wall… or in my bathroom. I shoved my feet into my slippers, slid down the hallway, and paused at the threshold. What if I find it? What will I do then? My 22 caliber firearm was out of rat-shot. I didn’t have a bat or a golf club handy (Rob doesn’t even play golf) and the nearest shovel was laying somewhere in the garden. I am so screwed.

I decided against opening the bathroom door until I could get some advice. So, I located my cellphone and called my husband for backup. The call went to voicemail but I tried again. His sleepy voice was finally coming through the speaker on my phone and it gave me an instantaneous feeling of relief. Surely he would have some insight into my dilemma.

It’s probably just a mouse.” He lectured.

It’s definitely not that.” I stated firmly.

Well, why don’t you just grab a frying pan or something?”

A frying pan? Seriously?”

Well, that’s what I would do. Hit it over the head.” I could hear him shrugging his shoulders.

I think it’s coming from underneath the bathtub” I whispered frantically.

Just pry up the sealer around the tub, stick your hand in there and figure out what it is.”

What kind of advice is that?”

Use your bad hand. You can lure it out with your broken finger. It doesn’t function well anyway.”

Are you crazy? Stick my hand in there… you’re as useless as tits on a bull.” He roared with laughter but I was livid.

Trust me. It’ll work.”

Trusting you is how my middle finger became permanently screwed up in the first place. I don’t need a side of rabies to go with it.”

Hey, you called me remember? This is the advice you get when you wake me up at three in the morning.”

I hung up the phone and walked back to bed. Nothing was going to get resolved tonight. I pushed a pillow over my ears to muffle sounds of my house disintegrating in the devil’s jaws.

When my alarm finally sang to wake me up again, I had a sharp pain radiating within my skull. The house was silent… but it didn’t last long. I got Nikolai ready for school while I scooped up his backpack. Yet right before dogging thunderstorms to get to the car, we nervously held hands near the mouth of hell so I could take a video recording.

Thankfully my husband isn’t the only person I call for advice. My friend Heather almost always has a creative solution for farm situations. I sent both her and my husband the video recording and waited for a response.

A ping sounded off after I had pulled back into my driveway alone. I fished through the contents of my handbag to locate the source. Two notifications flashed across the screen, a text from Rob, and a missed call from Heather.

Rob: “You’re right. That’s definitely not a mouse. That thing sounds like a bear.”

Me: “I told you!”

As I returned Heather’s call, I was pacing the length of the farm. Kicking rocks and dreading another sleepless night. I had days left before Rob could make it home. This had to be resolved now.

It could be an armadillo, or a gopher rat.” She suggested.

Awesome! I love armadillos and rats the size of cats.” I quipped sarcastically.

Mmm leprosy, the health crisis I always wanted!”

Heather’s advice involved a large quantity of rat poison. I grabbed a screwdriver and scraped along the edge of the tub to remove the caulk. My fingers trembled but I managed to make a small hole. Using the tip of the tool I carefully pushed the delicious treat into position. Some dangerous contents broke apart and sent powder peppering my leggings and arms while I worked. Praying I stuffed enough in there to entice the beast, I stripped myself of clothing.

After cleaning up and washing my hands six or seven times (the packaging said to handle the product with gloves I didn’t have and to avoid getting it on my skin… whoops), I sat on the sofa in my living room to wait. I listened intently, typed on my laptop, and stared at my opening paragraph. My eyes nearly crossing out of exhaustion, I gave up and closed the screen. I decided a nap was in order and had stretched out to get comfortable.

Until I heard it… enjoying a morsel. I picked up my cup of tea feeling warmth radiate from within. A smirk played at the corner of my lips as I sent the creature to another kind of hell. The kind that lasts eternal. Eat up little devil, don’t you miss a crumb now.

As I held Nikolai in my arms later that night, I listened to his rhythmic breathing. The crickets serenading the two of us to sleep. The bull frogs croaking in the creek, as I slept poetically deep. As for The Devil… lets just say he didn’t make a peep.

My sleeping angel 💗

76 thoughts on “The Devil Underneath the Bath Tub”

  1. So well written. I was so engrossed!!! Although I’d have done the opposite thing. I am such a huge chicken, I’d have abandoned the house and moved countries if I heard such a noise coming frequently from around my house. 🙈🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🤣 sometimes being home alone on the farm can get a little bit dicey, but there are animals to feed and things to tackle. Believe me I wanted to burn it all down 🤣😂😅 I’m just not allowed to!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nothing like monsters under the bathtub to interrupt sweet morpheus, and pack poison peeled in panoply. We have monsters under our bathtub and bed also. Fun, well-written story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a story, LaShelle. Told with lots of suspense and a bit of humor. I live out in the woods too, surrounded by squirrels and pack rats… and they do gnaw inside my roof. They’re cheeky things too. We haven’t figured out how to completely get rid of them. Sorry!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HAHAHA that’s okay!! I haven’t had this issue here before and we’ve lived here for 5 years but hands down this thing sounded like a bear 🐻. With the way my house is, they’re able to get underneath my house 😅. My husband and I still haven’t figured out what it was but I haven’t heard it since 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My house is built from logs, so they don’t get into the walls, but below and above are open game. We try to plug the holes, but somehow they still get in. I’m glad you haven’t heard your monster rummaging around again. 🙂 That’s a relief!

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      2. We didn’t have the time to build a house so we put in a single wide (which I never thought I’d love but I REALLY do). We’ve been focusing on paying off the land. We started with 4.71 acres (which we paid off) and this year we added 6 1/2 more (which we’re working on paying off). My house was brand new and a blank slate. It’s 782 sq feet with a wood burning stove and real brick fireplace that’s to die for. I had to carefully plan it out. I haven’t had any trouble with things getting in before. I keep my house pretty tidy. So we just need to sort out sealing things up better. 🙂

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      1. Morning, Stuart. 🙂 This is the only social media I’m active on, and it’s because this community is so kind and supportive. Not every connection clicks, but when they do, it’s delightful. Thanks for being part of it!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh my goodness – that sounds like torture!! I’m laughing about the middle finger part…

    Nice work taking care of it, LaShelle. You are woman!! Do we have to wait for Rob’s return before we find out what exactly it was?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny enough… Rob is home and we still don’t have a clue!! We’ve been mid bathroom renovation forever (we only have one bathroom in my little house so it’s slow moving because we all use it). Rob has been talking about prying up the tub completely to put down tile and make sure everything is sealed up tight for winter. In the meantime there’s a trap he put underneath our house and I’m just waiting and worried that the thing will come back whenever he’s on his next rotation LOL! SOOOO frustrating! I NEED TO KNOW!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, that is frustrating. I need to know too!! But I can understand the need to not rip everything up and make it unusable. You’ll have to let us know RIGHT AWAY when you find out. Because of course it’s all about us… 🙂

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  5. You have reminded me of the time we had a rat in our house that would gnaw between the walls above my head in my bedroom. I would bang the wall to shoo it away. My father finally got it with poison. Huge thing!
    Glad you were able to solve your situation!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lol, gotta admit, a frying pan does seem like a legit solution, especially if it’s cast iron. As a city boy, I seldom have to deal with these situations, but I had a civet run around in our roof once, and that thing sounded like it was dropping bricks just to spite us. That, or it was constantly running into walls. I didn’t know what it was doing, but the fact that it happened at 4 a.m. was particularly distressing, lol.

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  7. So entertaining! I was right with you. Well, more like with you in the sense that I was glad I wasn’t with you. 🤣 Great humor! My favorite line was, “You’re as useless as tits on a bull.” Beware of anyone with a frying pan.😊

    As I was reading your story, I flashed back to one I wrote a while back regarding my stupidity. I know we weren’t following each other yet.
    https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com/2019/05/20/the-importance-of-a-good-sense-of-humor/ What the heck? Here I am sharing my story, and this goofball sends me back one of his own. I didn’t sign up for this. 😎

    No doubt you would have recognized it for what it was as someone who lives in the woods.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe Pete I ALWAYS love your blog and I’m glad you’re sending me old links I haven’t read yet so I can read them and relate!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this one 🤪. I can’t pull the link up right now but I’ll definitely get to it tomorrow 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You live an interesting life. I don’t know for sure what I would have done in your situation, but I can be quite determined when it comes to saving my home. And unwanted critters and noises often stir me to action. In other words, you done good– and wrote a lovely story because of it. Win, win

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When ya live on a farm with other animals relying on you … You gotta stand up and do things for yourself sometimes. I’ve had to fix our well pump in freezing temperatures before 🤪. I’ve had to scoop up possums and armadillos that my farm dog moose killed and burry them. I’ve had to fix my truck and car before when they broke down, I’ve had to haul water too! It’s amazing how accomplished you feel as a woman after doing those things. 🥰❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, that’s incredible! You’re so tough and I guess wheb you’re in that situation you just do what you have to. I guess if I was ever in such a situation I may actually be able to handle it haha 😄

        Liked by 1 person

  9. OMG so sorry! This is the worst!! I once lived in a house where a family of raccoons had made their home in the attic! They were the worst over my grandmother’s room and every night she would wake up banging the walls… we honestly thought her dementia was getting worse… my poor grandmother dealt with it every night for a couple weeks before we realized we had a family living in the attic! They really wrecked the place good (thankfully it wasn’t my house, we were renting) and it was NOT fun! Can’t believe you had to deal with that yourself, I’d be screaming for my husband to get back from wherever he was (but I know you don’t have that luxury)!

    Also, the part where you husband told you to get a frying pan lol… did he think you were in a cartoon?? LOL

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  10. I hope it left the house before it died–the smell isn’t fun either! We’ve been plagued by mice recently, and they’re too smart for the traps but I’m afraid to use poison because of the dog. Ilana, our daughter’s cat, was keeping them at bay, but they’re both back at college–maybe I need a cat of my own!

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  11. Wow – you had me gripped to the story LaShelle. My grandmother had squirrels in her cubbyhole attic. She would hear them running back and forth. She knew it was not big animals, but big enough to hear their feet over her head as she watched TV. She called an exterminator and he had to wrangle them to catch them all and there was significant damage where they had chewed wood. (P.S. – I like your description of what you looked like to go outside.)

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  12. What a sweet boy you have, and you want to protect him always from whatever is gnawing away – whether it be in the bathtub or the roof or in your mind. How we want to keep them safe! I think you did a good job – whatever you did – it worked! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What an absolutely terrifying and engaging tale! I’d have worked myself up into a frenzy thinking of all kinds of supernatural spooky things. I really think it takes some serious grit to live out in the country with the creatures of the land. You made my morning with this story, especially the squirrel throwing an acorn at you-for some reason that image cracked me up! What a mean little bugger!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi
    I visited your site. I can read your biography. Nice you have to knowledge. I read some your blog. Very nice ✍️ you blog. So cute your angel sleep picture. Beautiful sharing you story. I like. I am so happy!

    Liked by 1 person

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