Mmy driving partner and I drove a truck with a bed in back of the cab. We hauled lumber from Oregon, to the Plains States, and then we would load grain, like wheat and corn, to haul back to the coast. It is of one of these trips that this story is about.

We loaded the truck in Portland, Oregon, with lumber and we had to put a tarp over it, so the dry lumber would not get wet from the snow or the rain, as it was winter. When we got to Nebraska we tried to unload the lumber, but the tarp has frozen to the lumber so we had to borrow a blowtorch to defrost it. After we got the tarp and the lumber off, we went a few miles to load some bulk corn.

The truck was equipped with folding sides and all we had to do was lift them up and put some stakes that were provided, in holes in the bed of the truck. We did what was needed, and I drove the truck under a hopper that poured the corn in the bed of the truck and trailer. After the truck was loaded, we headed for Oregon.

That night, as I was driving and my partner was sleeping in the sleeper, a little mouse showed up on the dashboard, he looked out of the windshield, like the dashboard was an observation deck. I tried to hit him with my partner’s shoe, but he ran under the dashboard.

The noise of the shoe banging on the dashboard woke my partner up. ‘What are you doing?’ he asked, as he pulled back the curtain that seperated us. ‘I’m trying to kill a damn mouse that was on the dashboard’ I told him. ‘You better leave those damn pills alone,’ he replied, zipped the curtain shut and went back to sleep.

When it was his turn to drive, we went into a cafe to eat and, while we were eating, my partner started to laugh. ‘What the hell are you laughing at?’ I asked.

‘You and your mouse’, he said.

Dawn had just broke, there was snow on the ground, and my partner was driving slowly. I trusted him with my life as I slept like a baby. All of a sudden I heard my partner yell, ‘Get the hell out of here, you son-of-bitch’. He had seen my friend, the mouse. We stopped at the first store that we saw and bought a mousetrap and some cheese. We had to lay over that night, as we were getting close to driving too many hours that week, so we rented a motel room for the night. Before we went in we baited the mousetrap and thought, ‘Now we’ll get you’.

My partner liked to chew juicy fruit gum, he left part of a package in the truck cab and when we got back in the truck the next morning, we looked at the mousetrap; nothing had been touched. The cheese was still there and the trap was still set. Could that little mouse, that liked to look at the scenery going by from his own observation deck, be smarter than us?

It was my partner’s turn to drive that morning and I wasn’t sleepy as I had just spent the night in the motel so I started wiping the dust off of things, and just straightening stuff up. Then I saw it! The juicy fruit gum showed signs of a mouse having chewed on it. That damn mouse liked juicy fruit gum better than cheese.

Later, when I tired, I started taking my clothes off to get in the sleeper and, when I lowered my pants, my belt touched me on my bare leg. I yelled, ‘He’s on me!’ and threw my pants, and made all kinds of gyrations on my side of the cab. As soon as I realized what it was, I told my partner that I was sorry but I really thought it was the mouse. He chuckled and said, ‘A big truck-driver like you, and you’re afraid of a little mouse? Yes, you are too!’

That mouse lived with us for two weeks, before we decided to put juicy fruit gum in the mousetrap. We set the trap with gum one night and the next morning when we checked the trap; the mouse was caught and dead. We still did not know where that mouse had lived for all that time until I lifted the mattress of the sleeper, and there they were; six baby mice in their warm nest.

My partner and I had been keeping them warm for hundreds of miles.

The End
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The Mouse by Don Fraser
The Author can be contacted at: thorobred240@cs.com
Copyrights reserved by the author. If you are in doubt, please click on ‘Copyrights’ and read the details.