That night before falling asleep I made a deal with myself. Either fix the damn washing machine or die. Wull, death can be a powerful incentive!

Next morning another beautiful day dawned clear and blue and cold, a degree or so above freezing. Icicles dripping were always a sign of good luck for me. I looked forward to the feelings of accomplishment I’d have when the washer was fixed and running.

When I opened the lid the smell of rotted flesh seemed to coat my face. The lid dropped from my hand with a bang.  I snapped my head back so violently I thought I may have aggravated an old football injury.

Feeling a stinging blow to my upper lip I realized that, in a desperate attempt to escape the stench I had stabbed myself with my thumb and index finger while attempting to pinch my nostrils shut.

Boy did that smart! But it didn’t hurt half as much as the stench wafting from the bowells that washing machine.

With nostrils pinched tightly I held my breath, turned my head to the side, slowly lifted the lid and and peered inside.

When my eyes adjusted, the body of a dead mouse lying on its side beneath six inches of water emerged from the murky depths.

“What the … ?”

I thought, could this mouse, too quick for me to see when I closed the lid last fall, have slipped and fallen doing some daredevil trick only an adolescent mouse would attempt!?

I skoffed. In a brief moment of intelligence I thought maybe this is how humans die too? (Not by falling into a washing machine you stoop!)

I needed time to figure out how to get the stinking water and the rotted body out of there. I decided to sleep on it.

Next: How Wuthering Heights Got Into the Pest Control Business