Sure enough, when I arrived at school, I sat down at my computer to get ready for morning announcements and I saw it.
A pile of shredded paper under my desk.
A trail of hershey kiss wrappers, in smithereens.
Tiny pellets of... well, you know.
Unfortunately, I shrieked right at the moment when my 8th grade students were arriving to TA (our homeroom).
One student stopped in her tracks, "Did you see a rat?"
'No, just... evidence of... a mouse. Sorry for startling you, it's nothing, don't worry. It's not here right now."
By the time I finished my sentence, more students had entered and were gathering around my desk to catch a glimpse of the creature, or at least what it had left behind.
"You know, Ms. **** stood up on a chair and screamed last week when one crawled across her floor."
"Yeah, this place is really infested!" One student said, as she grabbed my clorox wipes and began wiping down her desk.
"How did it get here?" One boy asked, looking up from his iPad to check out the action.
"Well, I think I left some hershey kisses on my desk yesterday." I admitted. "It's my fault, really. Who can resist chocolate?"
"I think that'll kill it anyway." He replied. "If chocolate kills a dog, it'll probably kill a mouse." I don't know if that's how it works, but I couldn't help but hope he was right.
"Well, if it's dead, we'll smell it soon." Another student chimed in. On second thought, hopefully it survived the chocolate.
A small group of 8th grade girls helped me clear off my desk and wipe it down, trying to keep the heebie-jeebies away for another day. They might not be as prepared for student-led conferences as some of their peers, but I'll be there to vouch for them- "They were spending too much time practicing the IB learner profile trait, caring." I'll say.
Of course, by 4th period, the rumor had blown up. "Ms. Bennett! I heard you have rats in your room!" One student exclaimed, her curly pigtails bouncing as she entered my room. "If that's true, I'm out!"
"No, you're not out, and neither am I. If I have to work among mice, we all do!"
We sat down and got to work, trying not to hear scratching inside the walls.