Tonight I was sitting here in front of New Delly, in my LIGHTED basement lair, when I heard a noise. I don't like hearing noises when I'm down here alone. And this one was insistent. Not simply that soda-opening CLICK like The Pony and I heard all the time, he saying it sounded like it was in my office, me (from the office) saying it sounded like it was out in the basement where he was. No, this noise was hard to ignore.
At first I thought that Farmer H had come down the steps and was collecting the empty soda cans that The Pony had bagged up before he moved off to college. Yeah. We're not in any hurry to clean up our hoard. That had to be it. The noise was like cans being moved and crushed. Kind of a clicking and popping sound. I was sure it was Farmer H.
"What are you doing?"
"Are you down here?"
"Hey! Are you down here?"
"What's going on?"
I got up from my rolly chair. I was kind of scared. SOMETHING was out there. In the basement. Over by the steps. I know that's where a Devil's Playground bag of Coke cans sits on the floor beside the blue chair nobody sits in. I know that, because the other night, around 3:00 a.m., I accidentally kicked it when going to turn off the light on a stand that my mom gave us.
"Heeyyyeeeyyy? What's going on? Is something out here?"
Whatever it was didn't have the common decency to stop! It kept rustling. I was imagining a rat or a possum had somehow gotten in, and was going to town on those Coke cans. I stepped into the doorway of my office, which doesn't have a door, because I never wanted one until now this very moment. I can't run very fast. And that rustler was right by my way out.
I didn't sound very confident. Not at all big and bad. Not like I could kick the butt of a rodent. But the rustling stopped!
"Huh?" Farmer H called from upstairs.
"Are you doing something?"
"No. I'm not doing anything."
"You're not making a noise with something?"
"Oh. I'm just opening this shock collar I got for Jack."
Occams Razor. Most times, hoofbeats are just a horse. Not a zebra. And most times, a can-rustling rodent is just Farmer H opening the plastic encasing a shock collar.