The Stella-and-mouse game
Stella M. Turk MBE
The mouse invasion: a saga written between 9th and 31st Jan (With acknowledgements to Robert Burns)
One "wee sleekit, cow’rin’ tim’rous beastie"
Came inside for warmth and feastie
And had the temerity to dare
To sit on Stephen Mackenna’s chair.
Banished forthwith through the door
It then sent in another four.
One, two, three, four, five
All caught kicking and alive.
Mother, father, sisters brother,
Surely there is not another?
But the clan still had some tricks
And next night I caught number six.
Now this must be honours even
But no its not, here’s number seven.
Frantic filling of any small crack
Failed to stop them coming back,
And we reached sixteen before I found
The passage, half-underground,
Where concrete split by large bamboo
Permitted the entry of you-know-who.
Now blocked up and safely sealed
The mice can stay in the nearby field
And again we can call the home our own
A really first-class mouse-free zone.
This invasion of the Long-tailed Field Mouse (more often now known as the Wood Mouse) was in full swing when the Natural World magazine arrived with a questionnaire ‘A mouse in your house?’. Here is my answer - a temporary invasion of the cottage itself, as described above. This particular clan found sultanas irresistible In the roof space above the bathroom, I have live-trapped not only the Bank Vole Apodemus sylvaticus but also the Pygmy Shrew; Soreax minutus. The roof space is inhabited every winter as I hear them ‘rampaging’ overhead.
Stella M Turk MBE