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
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,
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
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
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.
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!