The Biscuit Thief

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Coming back from office on a rather long day, I was opening the door to my apartment that was sleeping in darkness. As I stepped inside, to my shock, something crackled under my shoes. It almost made me jump. I quickly reached for the lights, flipped it on, and looked for the mysterious thing that crackled.

Well, it was a half eaten piece of a Good Day biscuit.

In many a bachelor pad this may not qualify as something strange, but I, do, keep my apartment clean. Also, till date, I have not seen or detected the presence otherwise of any rat in this second floor apartment where I dwell. So this was, well, strange indeed. But I dropped it at that. I definitely was not feeling Holmes enough to investigate the matter at the moment after having played cat and mouse with hairy software bugs all day.

Next morning when I went into the kitchen, I saw one of the Good Day packs I had on the rack was torn open and the biscuits strewn aside, couple of them missing too. Ah, bad indeed, seems like a rat has really made it to this second floor. I stood for a minute musing upon Mousehunt. I dropped the leftover biscuits into the trash can, pushed the matter into a recess of my mind and went about my routine.

Couple of days later, another morning, as I was entering the kitchen, something made me jump again. A violent flurry of wings and feathers. I was completely taken aback. What in the world is a dove doing inside my kitchen?!! She was struggling to escape through the window sills through which she apparently came in and falling all over the place and trying again, causing all the ruckus and frenzy. She managed to get out finally. I was left wondering; A dove sneaking into a kitchen and stealing biscuits?!! That is far stranger than what I expected. All the same, I considered the case closed and freed the memory that was allocated in the aforementioned recess.

No more biscuit incidents happened for next couple of days.

During the weekend, after having had lunch, I was lying on the couch practicing the skill of doing nothing for which there was not much opportunity during the week. Suddenly a queer face appeared on the ventilator grill above the front door.

A squirrel.

Cute thing, I thought. What does he want? Will he come in? Squirrels usually I have seen keep as far away from humans as possible. I lay absolutely still so as not to scare him.

But he did not seem to be in any kind of confusion. He slipped inside through the grills, tiptoed through the curtain hanger, skillfully glided through the hanging curtain, jumped to the floor and scuttled straight to the kitchen!!

At this moment it dawned on me that the closing of the case of 'The curious incident with the Biscuit' was horribly wrong.

I did not move from the couch. He seemed to be ruffling some plastic wrapping in the kitchen. Probably it was the one more packet of Good Day that was left. I waited to see how long he spends in the kitchen. The ruffling went on for some time. I waited. No sign of him coming out. After around thirty odd minutes all went silent, there was no more ruffling. Probably he went out from the kitchen? I got up gingerly from the couch and tiptoed silently towards the kitchen.

Oops, he was still sitting on the rack! I stopped dead on my toes. I think he saw me. He snuggled into a corner of the rack and stood motionless. I tiptoed back to the couch as silently as possible.

For a few minutes nothing happened. Then his face slowly edged out of the kitchen door near the floor. He looked all around for a full minute weighing the situation. Then it was a dash. Burr! through the floor, Swoosh! up the curtain, Tap Tap! across the hanger and Slipp! through the grill. I could not help laughing! :-)

I went into the kitchen to take stock of matters. Eh?! the Good Day packet is intact. What did he eat then? Then I saw. He has torn open a packet of wheat and eaten a handful from it. Hmm ...

Squirrelhunt? Uh oh ...

PS: I give thanks, that all the construction, pollution and greed has not yet managed to eradicate the doves and squirrels around me.