I thnk I tempted fate in a previous blog, “The best laid schemes o’mice an men …”. The notoriety has turned the heads of the little blighters. The mice that is. Not the men. The latter’s being already warped.
I’m with Cyril Connolly when, in The Unquiet Grave, he said “It is only in the country that we can get to know a person or a book” and I could never live anywhere else, but it does have its minor downsides. Uninvited guests.
As the glitterati take off to ‘winter’ in St. Tropez or Florida, field mice here in the North East of Scotland go in search of a cosy loft full of sumptuous insulation, squishy sleeping bags and a daily supply of peanut butter in which to hunker down until Spring.
I must be getting fab reviews on the rodent equivalent of Trip Adviser as they’re checking into my loft at an alarming rate.
Being an advocate of ‘catch and release’ I went the humane trap route. I would catch the bl…, ahem, blighter, walk to the top of the 30 acre field across from my house, oversee an honourable discharge and come home to find him practically waiting at the door, tiny paw on hip, tapping his foot as if to say “What took you?”.
I put a tiny drop of nail polish (Jessica Ruby Red 293 no less) on one when I first suspected they were following me home. I released him in the shelter belt at the top of the field and yes, you guessed it, two days later he was in the trap sporting a metallic crimson dot on his back.
Puts a whole new perspective on Horace’s observation that “The mountains will be in labor, and a ridiculous mouse will be brought forth.”
Suffice it to say, I’m a little ashamed to confess I then went the inhumane route.
I’ve been catching one every day now for the past 29 days … until this weekend when the trap was empty. Yee-hah! Break out the bubbly! “I’m mouse free”, I thought, until I noticed the peanut butter was gone as was one whole side of the trap. The varmints could now get to the peanut butter without activating the trap. To add insult to injury they had dragged a massive wadge of insulation into the box to make a nest … IN THE MOUSE TRAP.
I thought they were having a laugh before, but they’re really taking the ‘Mickey’ now.
If anyone has a mouse-catching dog please go on holiday soon. Special rate available.