For two nights I have heard something in this house that is not on two legs. Last night it was quite noisy--not the chewing, scurrying sound of mice or rats (not that I'd know anything about that, mind) but the sound of something moving around and knocking stuff over. The first night it stopped fairly quickly, and I thought maybe it was the cats on the porch.
The second night, though, it sounded like stuff rolling on the floor. This was at 2 am and I was awake because my hips were hurting and I was having trouble sleeping. I listened for a while, then nudged Larry.
"There's something in the house," I whispered. "Not a person, but a something. It's knocking stuff over."
He had a hard time waking up, reluctant to give up his sound sleep for my "something".
"What is it?" he asked.
"I don't know! I can just hear it moving around, and dropping things."
He got out of bed, looked for slippers, turned on a light. The flashlight was in the room where I heard the noise, of course. So Larry walked through the house turning on lights as he went.
Finally he was in the log room. "Nothing here," he called. "Everything looks fine. I got up and went to look. Nothing was out of place. But I had heard stuff being moved or dropped, I knew I had!
Then I saw it. The nut bowl.
Since Christmas we've had a bowl of nuts on the table. They're a great snack when we watch movies, and I bought enough over the holidays to last a while. Those nuts were the clue.
"I bet it's a flying squirrel," I said. "Coming down the chimney and stealing nuts."
That wasn't a wild random idea. Many years ago, I had a bushel basket of hickory nuts in the kitchen. At night I began hearing sounds for all the world like nuts rolling across the floor. Once when I got up I actually found hickory nuts in the living room, far from the basket. I was mystified.
Then one night when we heard the sounds my husband was quick enough with a light to spot the culprit: a flying squirrel had found a tiny hole in our not-yet-quite finished house, and was making nightly forays to steal nuts. We watched the critter fly from our roof to the woods behind the house. Mystery solved--and hole quickly plugged.
I've put the nut bowl away, and Larry closed the damper so perhaps our little thief will be disappointed on his next visit. I hope. Because if that isn't the answer...there's something moving in my house at night, and it isn't on two legs.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.