This week I have a tale to tell. We live in what is called a colony here in Nepal. It is small and very pleasant. We have an open green space in the middle and paver made roads that seldom have traffic. We are surrounded by houses except for one open garden type field behind us. Now, we have a room in the back of the house that is like a shed. It is full of random things and is best forgotten. Unfortunately, every so often we have to go in there and I see plenty of poop, probably from something of the rodent family. Something you should know about me is that I HATE rodents. I will kill a spider happily, but rodents freak me out. I try to control my urges to scream when I see one, but it is no use. I scream and run and hide.
Under our sink in the kitchen our didi began to see poop. I thought oh no, rodents. Luckily she is Nepali and brave and knows how to deal with such things. She brought over a cage and we set the trap. Nothing. Not one bite. So, we had to up the anty since we were finding a nasty hoard of feces behind our refrigerator. She brought in the glue. She said the only way to catch them was to place sticky glue on a piece of wood and then they would scurry across and get caught. The biggest problem was a live rodent, wriggling around on a plate. I was not excited to have to deal with them from that point on. Sure enough, later that day we caught the culprit! It was a chuchundra in Nepali, or what we call a shrew in English. Now for those of you who have no idea what that looks like, let me introduce you to a creature with very pronounced facial features, a hairy tail and extremely smelly poops, the shrew.
This picture shows the shrew all cute and in nature, but these are viscous rodents and have sharp teeth and they do not like to get stuck on sticky glue. Our shrews actually have a much harrier tail, but I digress. After our first shrew was caught I was so relieved. My husband being the man took him out an killed him (sorry for all the animal lovers, but these guys stink and carry disease, no thank you!) I was relieved as Jeff was leaving and my friends were coming in. The next day came and more feces, NOOOOO!! That ment there were more than one in our kitchen. So, again my didi put the sticky plate under the sink and I left with my friends for a quick out of town holiday.
We came home on a Sunday and the kitchen was smelling funny. I thought I should open the doors and windows. It continued to stink and I decided to investigate. I opened the door under the sink and the most putrid smell came out. I ran and hid in the corner screaming (dramatic, I think not!) and thankfully my friends were there to help. Together we mounted the get rid of shrews team, which was documented of course. My friends bravely opened the sink and there on the sticky pad were 2 more shrews, deader than dead. That brought us to a total of 3. Now they were gone of course so I was happy. We cleaned up the feces and bleached the cabinet.
The next day my didi came again and she said she found more poop. Noooo, I cannot handle the amount of poop these things produce. I started operation seal up the house. So I sealed up every possible entrance point, so I thought. Once again we put out stick glue. Shrew number 4.
We had a break in the shrew incidences over the summer. I was happy and thought we finally got rid of them. Then, in September we were sitting in the dining room and I heard the sound of a poly bag rustle. Something was in the trash. My didi was there, who by now knew how much I hated these guys. She set a trap again and caught the guy. Shrew number 5.
The next day I was walking in our living room and I saw something scurry. I told my didi and my language teacher who was there and they cornered not one, but 2 of them and whacked them on the head. Two more down for the count. Shrew number 6 & 7.
The next day I saw one more. Now this one was sneaky and he was old. I could tell he had been a good hider because he didn't make the mistakes of the other ones. Once again we set out sticky glue. As I walked into the kitchen it was just in time to see the board with the sticky glue was being pulled under the refrigerator and a tail was languishing behind. I called my husband to come to my rescue. I was right, this shrew was big and mean. He had sharp teeth and I could tell he had been rolling in the glue. We took him outside and it was over. Shrew number 8.
I am going to warn you the next picture is of our friend who met his death on the sticky glue, so be warned, it is gross.
Currently we really are glad to see these guys gone. Only 8 have lost their lives and I am hoping they have realized that the Davids home is not a safe place for them. Actually, I am surprised these little creatures have not become some kind of cartoon character yet. So, here is to the rest of a shrew free time here in Nepal!!
Until next time!