Thursday, February 25, 2010
My husband is a brave man. He possesses an enviable equanimity. He is not one to dwell on frightening possibilities - in fact, he's rather fatalistic in a very Mexican way. He is as unmoved by the thought of death as anyone I've ever met. He certainly isn't afraid of pain or hardship.
In his life, he has confronted danger and privation such as very few of us comfortable Americans have known. He has experienced thirst, hunger, and terrible uncertainty. He has been within a hairsbreadth of death by exposure, and lived many years as a hunted man, and yet maintained his sense of humor, his trust in God, and his joie de vivre. Offhand, I can't think of a single person I admire as much, nor anyone I'd rather have at my side should things ever go horribly, horribly wrong.
Yet, my husband is afraid of a couple of things. One of them is snakes. To be fair, he does come from a part of the world which abounds in poisonous snakes. However, I have not yet been able to convince him that garter snakes are harmless and that the the little girls should be allowed to play with them.
Also, he is afraid of mice.
Today, we were in the mama barn cleaning beehive frames (something it feels like we've been doing forever), when suddenly a couple of field mice crawled up out of one of the boxes. Homero startled, backed up, and dropped his hive tool. "Get it!" he said. "Get it out of here!"
The first one I easily grabbed by the tail and threw out of the barn, but the second and third were too fast for me and escaped into the stack of hive boxes. I spent a few minutes trying to catch them; moving box by box and scrambling around in the hay, but I couldn't get either of them. Homero, pale and a little shaky, said "I'm going to get the cat," and hightailed it for the house.
I kept working for a few more minutes, then decided to go see what was going on. My dear husband was in the kitchen washing dishes. "I couldn't find the cat," he said. "When you see him, lock him in the barn for a few days, okay?"