“Would you please put a sock in it?” I called wearily, “It’s 4:00 in the morning, Nate!”

Whatever Nate was doing in the living room obviously was more important than my good night’s rest; the banging and tinkling noises had been going on for awhile. I finally went downstairs and turned on the lights. ALL the lights.

Didn’t even slow him down.

“Stop that this instant,” I barked, “or I’m buying the INhumane trap, I swear.”

That did it. Silence descended, and Nate apparently went back to bed. So did I.

I used to know this guy named Nate, sorta looked like a fuzzy, warm teddybear with kind shoebutton eyes (although he was indicted for embezzlement or something so I might have been mistaken in my impression). We didn’t know each other all that well, but I coveted his sportscar.

Anyway, he bore a close resemblance to the mouse that invited himself into my living room this week. Since I needed to call the little pest something, I named him after Nate. As I mentioned, I first met Nate last Monday, when I kept hearing sounds like a bad Jamaican hotel band coming from my living room.

I thought all the noise stemmed from Nate trying to chew his way through solid maple plywood stairs to get inside the walls, but wondered at never finding toothmarks. Tonight I finally discovered what he’s really up to.

He’s transporting hazelnuts.

I have a copper pot half full of old hazelnuts in the living room bookcase, bottom shelf. Someone gave them to me more than a decade ago; I kept them because they were a gorgeous mahogany color and maybe three times the size of other hazelnuts. They’ve traveled all over the country in that little pot; I’m sure they’re mummified by now.

About an hour ago I walked past the bookcase and noticed one of those nuts on the floor, right by the stairs, a couple of feet from where the nuts are kept. It wasn’t there this morning, so either the nut’s come to life and grown legs…or someone put it there.

And here’s the thing: That nut is just about as big as Nate, and the pot it’s in about four times as tall and solid copper. Nate has apparently climbed into the pot, pushed one of the nuts all the way up the side of that pot, all the way around a heavy porcelain box, then down onto the floor and over to its current position. I’m not sure where he and the nut are going, but he’s obviously going to stick with it until they get there.

You gotta admire that kind of perseverance.

So…Nate isn’t going to be a permanent houseguest; I’ve ordered a humane trap as suggested by Chaniarts the other day. You stick peanut butter in the thing, set it near the last mouse sighting, and next day the mouse is humanely trapped inside, ready to be released somewhere else.

Assuming he isn’t full of hazelnuts, of course.

I bent to pick up the nut, toss it in the trash, and then stopped. The poor guy’s worked so hard, he will (hopefully) be going back out into the cold and wet soon…it’d be awfully mean to destroy his dream now.

I say let him have his fun. Just keep it down, would you, Nate? Some of us are trying to sleep.