The Pantry Monster

Esther and I came home from our Thanksgiving vacation and unloaded luggage, excess food, and other items too numerous to mention or care about. While putting things away in the pantry, she told me it sounded like someone was talking inside the pantry.

How could someone be talking inside the pantry when it was scarcely large enough for someone to get inside? I listened to her with one ear. Make that half an ear. I continued what I was doing. She kept putting more things into the pantry. “There it is again.”

Just what I need. A wife who is hearing the pantry talk! I went about my business not taking her too seriously. This goes here and that goes there, and what was that! It sounded like someone was talking! I heard it. A very faint voice came from inside the pantry.

Esther was perplexed. I was perplexed. And, when I am perplexed, something has to be done.

On her knees in front of the pantry, Esther told me that the voice was coming from close to the floor. I got down on the floor and started removing items one by one. I handed some of the items to Esther who scrutinized it all.

Suddenly we heard it again. A voice was trying to tell us something. It sounded like it was saying something about being dead! Maybe it was a disembodied soul trying to tell us something. Maybe it was a secret devise from a distant planet? I heard it again. It was a voice wanting to be heard.

I removed everything that was on the pantry floor: pots, pans, storage canisters, tablecloths. The floor was empty but the mystery was not solved. Maybe the voice had come from the other side of the wall? I went to the other side of the wall, but no cookie monster, no Charmin baby, no Pillsbury dough boy, no energy bunny, no cell phone, was to be seen. I knew that someone was dying in our pantry and we needed to find it. Do mice talk? Did we set a trap and forget about it?

I went back to the pantry and sat, firm as a New York City detective, at the door. I was on surveillance, and I would sit there until the voice would identify itself! I softly hummed, “I will not be, I will not be moved. Just like a tree planted by the water, I will not be moved.” Suddenly the voice spoke again! I felt like shouting, “Come out with your hands up!”

I scratched my head. What was in that pantry? How could it be? Suddenly I was inspired. Maybe the voice had come from downstairs? Maybe someone was downstairs in the dark, foreboding fruit cellar directly underneath the pantry and was calling for help!

I left my spot at the door and went downstairs. I walked slowly. What was the rush? I did not want anyone to be frightened. I would be cautious. No use scaring the voice!

I tiptoed through the family room to the fruit cellar. I paused. Everything was quiet. No voice, no movement. No nothing.

Why not turn around and go upstairs? No harm done. Let the Charmin baby talk.

I guess I could open the door and make sure.

I jerked open the door . . . just in time to hear the smoke alarm above me saying, “Dead battery!”

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