Rub a dub dub - Field Mice in the Tub - and the Cautionary Tale of the Purse...

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Integrity Oregon 200808151

I was at the end of a very long day of showing rural properties to a family from out-of-state. This day came on the end of several very long days of showing property across several counties. (By the end of the week, I'd have over 800 miles on my car.) We went into the house and the 13-year-old daughter made it to the main bath before the rest of it. I heard her call out, "There's a mouse in the bath tub!" 

When I got there, I saw there were actually two mice in the bathtub... Well, one mouse and what was left of another mouse. One was dead and had been dead for quite some time, from the state of his remains. The other one was barely alive. It wasn't one of those snively, skinny nosed city mice, it was the cute little fluffy, big-eyed, round-eared field mice like you'd find in a children's picture book that could talk and perhaps do other amazing things. But this mouse was barely alive and quite silent. He was hungry, thirsty and there was no telling how long he'd been there. He was in bad shape.

I now went from showing a home as an Exclusive Buyer Agent, to wildlife conservator. I switched roles and did something I never do...set down my purse.

I went outside and found a bucket, and I found a kleenex box and gently pushed the mouse into the bucket. The whole family went outside to witness the cute little mouse, his release back into the wild and what would happen next. Someone ran to the car to get food - Chex mix. The mouse began to eat to the delight and relief of everyone. (He was awfully cute.)

This was at the end of a very long day of viewing homes. It was about 8 pm, we hadn't stopped for dinner and I hated to admit it, but I was feeling in about as good of shape as that little mouse. My clients told me they had seen all they needed. It wasn't the right house, so I locked it up, we had a brief pow wow about the next day's activities and we drove down the long dusty, gravel road back towards town, food and stronger cell phone signals.

Since I'd been away from home over 12 hours, I decided to call my husband and tell him I was on my way home....but I couldn't find my purse. I pulled the car over and realized what had happened. My clients were behind me, and I flagged them over to tell them my purse had become separated from my body when I went from "Exclusive Buyer Agent" to "Mouse Savior." I told them to go ahead and go, I'd figure something out, but could I please use their phone to call for help.

My wonderful clients said, "No, we will not leave you alone out here at dusk. We'll go back to the house. We'll find a way in." (I did call the listing agent but was unable to reach her.)

When we got there, we found a window that was cracked open. We decided we could hoist one of the girls through the window. The 13-year-old was a little hesistant, but the little sister cheered her big sister on, "You're just like a ninja! You can do it!"

My purse was retrieved, the house was buttoned up tighter than we found it, the mouse had revived on chex mix and was on his way. I was embarrased for setting my purse down, but was relieved about a fairly quick reversal of the situation. I'd just experienced a memorable adventure, learned a lesson and was the recipient of the kindess of my clients and their concern for me. The girls had a great "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" story and we'd eliminated yet another house from the list of possibilities.

The lesson that was brought home to me was to always make sure I have my purse, my key, my cell phone, and return to the role of Exclusive Buyer Agent, at the end when I"m locking up the home, no matter what new role I might discover and have to fall into  when I enter a home.

A cautionary tale with a happy ending for everyone...well, for at least one mouse.

Posted by


Nannette Martin

Broker, Licensed in Oregon


                     503-302-9212 CELL

                    503-371-5262 FAX


                    RE/MAX Integrity

                    2110 Mission St. SE

                    Salem, OR 97302


                  Oregon Real Estate Agency Disclosure Pamphlet


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Bridget Cella
Re/Max Connection - Sewell, NJ
e-Pro, Realtor

Cute story, I am glad things worked out for you and the mouse!

Jul 19, 2009 04:24 AM #25
Kim Curran
RE/MAX Unlimited of Northern Virginia - Bristow, VA

So glad everything worked out for you, your buyers and presumably the mouse.

Jul 19, 2009 04:31 AM #26
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I make sure I wear clothing, jeans to be precise, that have pockets.  If I don't have pockets, I wear, not carry, a shoulder bag that can hold keys, cards and access paraphernalia. 

Jul 19, 2009 04:34 AM #27
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Did they end up buying a home ? hope that is the way the story ends.

Jul 19, 2009 05:45 AM #28
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRS, Broker, Instructor
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Nanette - thanks for sharing this great story. And of course you found them the perfect house and all went well. It just had to!  I look forward to your next adventure.  You've also inspired me to write a post or two of some of my unusual showing.....great memories.

Hey - Target carries a small bag with a long strap  and the purse is just big enough for keys, cards and phone/lockbox and a credit card or money.  That's what I use and it's always criss-crossed on my shoulder when showing.   Looks a little dorky but I don't care! It's inexpensive and fool proof!

Jul 19, 2009 06:05 AM #29
Malita Jones
Sky Realty, Inc.- - Austin, TX
Austin Texas Home Sales

I'm rolling on the floor here first of all this line: The 13-year-old was a little hesistant, but the little sister cheered her big sister on, "You're just like a ninja! You can do it!"

Showing property is always an adventure for sure - but I am deathly afraid of mice - that family would have seen a grown woman turn into a screaming panicked fool that ran out into the front yard.

And then comes the chex mix!!! But yeah - purses are a nightmare, and they are a black hole for everything else to get locked in! We have way too much to keep up with when showing property - we need a REALTOR flack jacket! I'm on to something here.

Jul 19, 2009 06:10 AM #30
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Nannette, as Mouse Savior you did good. Interesting adventure. I hate it when we leave things here or there. Very easy to do with carrying so much stuff as we all do, and we men don't even have purses. I've just learned to slow down before leaving which means stop talking to the clients. This family will definitely remember what they did on their summer vacation with you.

Jul 19, 2009 06:11 AM #31
Dee Nofziger
|Key Realty | Maumee Toledo Real Estate Blog - Toledo, OH
Maumee Real Estate, Toledo Homes, Key Realty

I, too, thought the end of the story would be a mouse jumping out of your purse on the drive home.

Jul 19, 2009 06:27 AM #32
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Nannette~  Now I could not have even looked at the mouse, let alone save it.  So glad you could!  I fully expected you to say that there was a mouse in your purse, not that you left the ourse,LOL! 

Jul 19, 2009 07:01 AM #33
Monica Bourgeau
Portland, OR
Business Coaching

Great story - glad you were able to retrieve your purse and save a mouse too!

Jul 19, 2009 11:03 AM #34
Mark Menzella
RE/Advantage - Fairfield, NJ
We build websites for REALTORS®

That was fun to read.

Jul 19, 2009 11:10 AM #35
Aaron Poling
Long & Foster - Martinsburg, WV
Working to get YOU the BEST Deal!

Great story, it shows you never really know what your going to encounter in this job!

Jul 19, 2009 11:23 AM #36
Pam Simpson
Bob Leigh & Assoc., LLC - Senatobia, MS
GRI, Broker-Assoc.

What a great story.  If I am only showing 1 or 2 homes, I just leave my purse in the car.  If I am going to be showing more, I put my purse in the trunk and carry around a "mini-purse" that I can sling over my shoulder and across my body.  It carries keys, my phone (with built-in lock box opener) & driver's license.

Jul 19, 2009 11:34 AM #37
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Nannette, what a great story and a good ending.  I, too, would have saved that poor little mouse. 

Jul 19, 2009 02:05 PM #38
Liz Schomers
Pleasant Ridge, MI

Love that story.  We could all write books about our experiences.  Your story will surely endear you to your clients.

Jul 19, 2009 02:11 PM #39
David M. Childress
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Akron, OH
I would love to be your Realtor® in Akron Ohio!

You sound like a great person and Realtor. That is probably why your clients were so gracious, you bonded with them. A great character trait. Thanks for the great adventure story!

Jul 19, 2009 02:33 PM #40
Home Loan Search.Online
Home Loan Search Online - Newnan, GA

I'm glad you were able to 1) get your purse back and 2) rescue the mouse. After 12 hrs, did they find a home to buy?

Jul 19, 2009 02:52 PM #41
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Nannette -- Interesting story indeed.  I had to get a bat out of my own home 3 nights ago at 2am.  What a startle to wake up to!

Jul 19, 2009 04:52 PM #42
Sally Morris
Greenwood Realty ( Greenwood SC ) - Greenwood, SC

Nanette your writing skills are great. I loved your story and was invited in to a real life situation where you get a glimpse of the kinds of things we face happily as Realtors. We're like the postal service, neither mice nor .. I'm subscribing to your blog I enjoy your point of view and your writing skills. I hope you'll return the favor if you enjoy mine.

Feb 20, 2010 12:03 AM #43
Nannette Martin
RE/MAX Integrity - Salem, OR
Your Purple Shoes Real Estate Pro at RE/MAX

Hi Sally,

Thanks! I've been hooked on writing since age 6 when I won lunch at McDonald's for my Essay, "If I were a pair of purple tennis shoes." :-) Um, that's been about four decades ago.

I've actually come close to publication and have had agent meetings, letters and calls from editors. I've had a couple manuscripts under consideration, which was exciting.

Being a good writer is really about being a good communicator and connecting with people. In this age of the internet and all the outreach we do in writing through the web, etc. I'm glad I have this skill.


I'd love to subscribe to your blog. I'm off to do that right now!

Feb 21, 2010 04:42 PM #44
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Nannette Martin

Your Purple Shoes Real Estate Pro at RE/MAX
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