Yesterday, I wrote about my love for spy novels and stories about spy agencies. Today, my house has been infiltrated by a spy. Fortunately, I tracked him/her down and deported him/her to another environment. That is the second infiltration in the past two weeks. The first is a sadder story than the second. Yesterday, my home was overwhelmed by a terrible odor which I immediately sensed was something dead. Whenever I am infiltrated by a mouse, and he finds all the yummy poisonous food I put out for him, he eventually dies, and my nose leads me right to his corpse. Yesterday, the odor was much the same, but much stronger so much so that it permeated the upper living area. Currently, there are four of us living here, two women and two men. Guess who wouldn’t sit still until the odor was eliminated? Yes, the two women were very nervous, agitated, pacing, and scared. Not to worry, the two men immediately knew where the stink emanated from. A week and a half ago, my step-grandson came to me with this message, “Grandpa, there is a baby rabbit stuck in the window well downstairs; what should I do?” The window well is four feet deep, and covered by a sheet of plywood; how in the devil did he get in there, I asked myself. I gave him a couple of options: 1. Open the window well window and place a box over the opening. Then, nudge him into the box, and let him loose in the wetlands behind the house. 2. Do nothing; he will die in place, and we will take care of his bones in the springtime. He chose the latter. The rabbit died, leaving an odor strong enough to enter the house through a window. I never thought that would happen, I was thinking mouse stink, not this rabbit stink. I truly thought the stink would stay outside.

Upon examination of the cover over the offending window well, it was moved out of place. Then I remembered that I tried to remove the rotting cover during the warm months to replace it. The board got jammed between the window above and the metal well casing, and I stopped thinking I’d get back to it later. With the board partially removed, it left an opening into the well. Peter Rabbit found the opening and fell into the hole, never to find his way out until the step-grandson fished him out with a long handle hoe and disposed of the remains by flinging them into the wetland.

Getting back to the second spy that did infiltrate is a mystery I have yet to solve, and it is now eighteen years old. This is the third time in eighteen years that a garter snake spy has found a way past the house’s defenses to enter and violate our personal space. This time, the spy was a mere baby, only twelve inches long and smaller than a pencil in diameter, but he scared the hell out of the ladies. I swept him into a box and walked him back to the wetland. The outside temperature today is a cool 48F/11/C. I figure that by the time he figures out how to escape he will be cold enough to slow down to snuggle up under a log for the winter.

In the meantime, I continue to search for the point of entry. There is one possibility that I believe to be the one. There is a drain tile that circumnavigates the house’s foundation, and it terminates into a sump. The purpose is to remove rainwater from entering the basement by catching it in the drain tile and pumping it into the wetland. During dry spells, the soil around the foundation shrinks, allowing skinny critters to find a way into the tile and basement. Another way is for the skinny critters to fall into a window well. They are piped to drain into the tiles. A third way is that we leave a door open, and the skinny thing just slithers into the house.

My final solution to the skinny slithering things getting in is statistical. I have lived in this house for eighteen years and have had three slim, slithering creatures visit my basement. That is one intrusion every six years, so the likelihood of another sneaky creature intrusion will not happen until 2029, and I’ll be too old to deal with it.

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