Thursday, 19 August 2010


Lying on the sofa, seasonal TV creating background noise, candle burning in the window, coloured lights on the tree, I couldn't have been more prepared for the holiday celebrations. Hell, I'd even prepared the potatoes and dressed the turkey for Christmas Day. 
But there was a flicker of movement. 
I thought I saw something in the fireplace. 
Not a scary something big, I thought I saw a mouse. 
Too much alcohol. 
I went to bed.

I'd been catching up on a little editing, it was the first chance I'd had to get anything done for days (can't think why). He-who-must-not-be-named arrived with drinks at an appropriate time, we went down to see in the New Year. 
We weren't alone. 
A tiny mouse with large eyes and round ears watched from the fireplace. 
We began the debate, pacifist to pacifist, what should you do when you know you have a mouse in the house? 
We came up with the best kind of plan: do nothing, it's only one cute little mouse... probably an escaped Christmas present.

The days went on. 
For days there were no sightings of our lodger. 
He had probably moved out without leaving a forwarding address.

But as time passed we realised our little visitor had gone nowhere. 
Easter weekend, we realised that Mousie-in-the-housie had been visible every day, for days. 
So we had a chat, ex-vegetarian to ex-vegetarian, we considered what you should do when you know you have a mouse in the house. 
We came up with a cunning plan: buy a humane, catch-and-release mouse trap and put it in the fireplace. 
The cute mouse with huge, dark eyes and sweet round ears was bound to understand the necessity of falling for the old "oh look, an extra black box tunnel with an enticing smell" trick. Yes? 

Days passed, our wile, wild mouse scampered near the trap, around the trap, and sometimes even over the trap, bur not inside it.

When it scrabbled at the skirting board, we got alarmed.
When it pawed at the mat in front of the fireplace, we got angry.
When it chewed the sweet potato in the kitchen, we decided enough was enough.

We made a decision. 
The mouse had to go. 
We had to go to Homebase: home of ineffective, humane mousetraps and more permanent fixes.

We bought a safety conscious plastic box with poisoned seeds inside.
We put it in the fireplace.
We were still feeling smug.
When we heard the sounds that followed, that feeling disappeared.
The curled up corpse was lying on the mat in front of the fireplace.
I don't go in the front room at the moment.


  1. Aw, you're not a killer. But I do think the sweet potato was the last straw. Imagine what else he would have chewed. Not sanitary at all, my friend. You did the right thing.


  2. Hi Sharde
    I know, but it was so small.
    I coped with finding it curled and sad on the mat, but the sounds we heard before that @@ !

  3. Elaine,
    I hate to make it sound worse, but I read once that mice (rodents) urinate everywhere they go, so well, I'm sorry but he had to go. This is coming from a vegetarian.

    I can't imagine what it sounded like at the end.. uhhh..

  4. Hi Crimey
    I know. I was obsessive about closing and sealing all packaging (and cleaning), from the moment I knew he was there.
    The sweet potatoes were in a plastic net-type bag - he nibbled through it and got at the potato. *shiver
    But that noise? It sounded like I need to go and live in a plastic bubble and eat only leaves plucked, gently, from living plants.

  5. Yikes - listening to that would be very, very hard.

  6. Careful what you wish for?

    That was a lovely eulogy though :)

    You know - there are reasons people own a cat.


  7. Hi Jemi
    I can still hear it, in the silent front room, My dining room is a lovely place; I don't normally spend enough time there.

    Hi Donna
    We used to own two cats
    If you want the Eulogy of a Killer 2, chronologically speaking 1, I could do the one about the night the cats brought in 2/3 of a mouse that wouldn't stop moving.

    Entitled :~(
    Two timid vegetarians and the mouse that would not die: The Vigil.
    Why should I have to be the one to kill it: The Gender War