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There's a Moose, Lose ...

The other day I was clearing the breakfast things, putting things away, I opened a cupboard door and to my horror found a packet of biscuits with its wrapping in tatters. I knew it was not me who had done it. When I am hungry I go about the solution in a dignified fashion, I do not set upon the wrapping with my teeth, I use my fingers with dexterity, prise the required number of biscuits from the packet, neatly close it, return it to the cupboard and then, and only then, scoff like mad.

I had acquired a companion. This house was no longer my own. I was now sharing! And, no, I was not pleased. My companion was a mouse!

Time was not really on my side. This unwelcome visitor must be – look away now you squeamish readers – eliminated. No, I’m sorry, not captured and taken outside. Such a gentle fate is not good enough for a rodent that has invaded my space and, what is even worse, stolen my food. I am soon to be away to Scotland for ten days and can not imagine how I could be so far away from home at this time without worrying how many of its friends and relatives will have been invited round for a party in my absence. Perhaps even a procreation party! Horror of horrors, the house could be overrun.

One needs to have a plan which is both cunning and effective.

The obvious solution was an ordinary trap but I remember one time I had used one and when the mouse was eventually caught it was not caught in the conventional way. No, the mouse got attached by its tail and was found running like mad around the kitchen, followed by the trap. So what about poison then? The trouble with that method is that they tend to disappear somewhere to die and considering that this mouse seems to have gained entry from somewhere at the back of the cupboards ….. I will let your imagination complete that scenario, or not if you don’t care to.

And then I had a brainwave! Which just goes to show that these things can actually happen.

I cleared a space in the cupboard and placed a bean bag in the corner, punching a little hollow in it to form a comfortable resting space. I then brought my music centre into the kitchen, drilled a few holes in the bottom of the cupboard to take the leads for the two loudspeakers which were then strategically placed so that the full stereo effect would be at its optimum for something reclining on the beanbag. So far, so good.

The next challenge was to try and find a form of music which would be attractive to a mouse. Perhaps I should have thought this through properly before drilling the holes because I was stumped. What sort of music would mice like? Classical, Jazz, Pop, Country and Western, Rock and Roll, Punk? I had no idea.

I can’t imagine how the solution eventually came into my head. Strange isn’t it when one second you haven’t a clue and then the next second, Eureka! The answer was obvious.

Mouse organ music, of course!

I rushed upstairs and looked up Larry Adler on the internet, downloaded Genevieve, Begin the Beguine, Summertime, How High the Moon and the theme music from Last of the Summer Wine and copied them on to a CD making sure that the last track was recorded at a slightly higher volume than the others. This should do the trick.

I had all the requisites in place, I only now had to wait until bedtime to set the whole plan in motion. I just needed three aspirins.

Not for myself, you understand!

9.30pm comes and after such a busy day I can stay awake no longer. I go into the kitchen, place the three aspirins on the side of the bean bag and set the music centre to play the CD continuously. That should do it.

I go to bed and very soon I am in the land of nod dreaming of even more cunning plans to get rid of mice.

I am awake, it is 6.30am, I hear the faint sound of mouse organ music from downstairs and the events of the previous day come back to me. I wonder, did my plan work?

I turn off the music centre and open the cupboard door, the aspirins are gone, the mouse is lying peacefully on the beanbag, dead to the world – literally. The RSPCA autopsy will show suicide so I shall be in the clear. What a brilliantly clever solution!

I hear noises from next door, Brian is about. I am so pleased and excited I just have to tell someone. It will have to be Brian. I shout across the fence and he comes round.

“Come and see this, Brian” I say “I found traces of a mouse in the cupboard yesterday and I have managed to catch it, look!”

I opened the cupboard door to show the mouse reclining peacefully, Brian looked, then looked again. His face dropped.

“Oh dear,” he said, “oh dear, oh dear! Hilary will not be very pleased about this. You’ve just killed our Monica!”

Which all goes to prove that the old jokes are the best, or are they?

Answers, on a postcard, are always welcome!

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