Wednesday, December 14, 2011
A Christ-mouse tale
Chatting to a friend the other day I was reminded of another Christmas many years ago when I was a feckless youth living in London. I was staying the night on a friend's sofa in Clapham. They had a lovely 3 story old Georgian flat over a shop in the middle of this ancient street and I adored the place. They were worried they had mice though. It was Christmas time and the tree was in the corner of the room with lots of wrapped presents underneath. I had left the lights on the tree switched on and was just dozing in the relative dark when something caught my eye - a tiny twinkly mouse was scuttling away from the tree along the skirting board, it was shortly followed by another and then I heard a slight rustle of paper and realised that yet another glitter covered mouse was exiting the corner of one of the wrapped presents. I sat up and they all shot off into the darkness under the sideboard!!!
The same scene was played over and over for the next hour or so, they would come out from under the sideboard single file and tip toe over to the presents and then nibble the paper and get inside. If I moved or made a noise they would all play statues! If I sat up and made to go over there, they would shoot back under the sideboard. In the end I picked up all the presents and took them into the kitchen and put them up out of the way, stupidly thinking that would stop them.
My friends got some humane traps the next day and took them all to some waste ground in another street but they must have been homing mice because a few days later they had more mouse activity. I asked them what made them think they were the same mice and they laughed and said they were all still covered in glitter!