Shed Pet

Something was in the shed.

“Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?”



“I don’t hear anything.”

Our evening began to follow the tropes of a badly written horror movie. All we needed was a pair of violins playing a sustained and unresolved chord to build suspense.

“There!That! It sounds like scratching!”

“Get the keys-”

We unlocked the shed door with a flashlight in hand, peering into the darkness while the neighbors next door played music in their backyard that would drown out our inevitable screams.

“Do you hear it? I don’t hear it-”

“Listen! There- behind that shelf-”

There did seem to be a scurrying of some kind. We rattled the shelf in an effort to flush the creature out, but failed to budge anything- thanks to our rather overenthusiastic application of earthquake straps.

No creature emerged.

We shined a light into the cracks between the storage bins, looking for eyes and claws and tails and teeth. We found nothing. We did not find this reassuring.

Going back outside we listened again: there was an intermittent creak from the roof in the vicinity of the solar panels, but no obvious sign of what might have made it. And then there was no further sound.

“Ok? Well? I guess it’s nothing?”

We locked the shed door and retreated into the house, glad that the evening had not ended in a jump scare or imminent death.

But there was definitely something in the shed: the next day when the Curmudgeonly Lion went out to take another look there was a little heap of wood chips along the threshold where something was trying to gnaw its way out. He moved all the bins of emergency supplies but found nothing.

“Check in the shed when you get home.” He texted to me on his way to work. “I swept it all out that’s why I want you to open the door and check and see if there’s any shavings on my lap right on Saturday.”

“Ok.” I wasn’t sure what he meant by ‘shavings on my lap right on Saturday’, but I didn’t want to say so.

“Stupid voice transcribing.”


I checked the shed when I got home. Sure enough, there were shavings along the threshold again. I took a photo of them and texted them to him.

“Go ahead and leave the door open for an hour, then sweep up the shavings before you close the door and I’ll check to see if there are any new ones when I get home.” He said.

So I did.

So far, no more shavings. Hopefully that means no more critter in the shed. Doubly good because I strongly suspect that the critter in question is a rat.

Just the day before I’d looked out the kitchen window to see a rat with an extraordinarily long tail climbing one of the tomato towers and helping himself to as many cherry tomatoes as he could eat until the Curmudgeonly Lion fired a warning shot across its bow with a pellet gun. The rat disappeared into the wood pile and was not seen again.

So the backyard is alive with drama at the moment. If this were the eighties and if we had pre teen kids then this would almost certainly be building up to an encounter with a creature from another dimension that would end in a dramatic bicycle chase scene in which the grown ups with hubs are thwarted by a surprise reveal of a character’spsychic powers, but so far things are normal: No spaceships.


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on July 31, 2018.

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