updated 6/2/2004 3:52:03 PM ET 2004-06-02T19:52:03

-- That wasn't a fly in her soup -- it was a mouse.

But authorities in Virginia say a woman who claimed to have found the rodent in her soup at a Cracker Barrel restaurant was lying.

Carla Patterson and her son have been charged with attempted extortion. Authorities say they planted the mouse in the vegetable soup last month and wanted the chain to serve up 500-thousand dollars.

Cracker Barrel stopped serving the soup in all its restaurants after the discovery. But an internal investigation found the mouse didn't come from the restaurant kitchen.

A spokeswoman says the mouse didn't have soup in its lungs and had not been cooked -- calling it proof that it had been dropped in the soup after being killed.

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