‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;‘
Excerpt from The Night Before Christmas (or A Visit from St Nicholas) by
Clement Clarke Moore.
One of the things about living in the country adjacent to open fields is MICE.
I didn’t mind watching them play at the bottom of the garden, though Hubby wasn’t too excited about it, but having ivy on the outside wall of what was our bedroom gave them a direct route into our roof.
We spent an entire day ripping it off, and Hubby put pellet poison in little dishes in the roof spaces. Being an old school, we had false ceilings in the lounge and dining room, and following extensions by owners three or four sets before us, a cavity between the old building and the flat roof.
We were watching a DVD one evening and heard the patter of little feet scurry above us, so the following day, Hubby checked the dish, which was almost empty and found droppings.
We never found a body, so believe the Last Diner had his fill, dropped his ‘tip’ on the floor, and left the building.
It was suggested we buy a sonic mouse deterrent and as they came in a pack of four, we were able to put one in each of the three roof spaces, and one in the conservatory. We were thereafter always careful not to leave outside doors open, and never had a problem indoors.
Our next door neighbour had 7 cats, all domestic animals which had never set foot inside their garden, and had converted their conservatory to house them with a cat flap into their property.
They also had mice, as not one was a mouser, so she got another one……. cat that is, and still had a problem.
I have several stories about mice indoors, so I’ll start with the original Horace.
Horace is the name I give to all mice (same as I call all spiders Bert), so that I never offend or panic anyone when speaking of them.
The mice at my parental home were very partial to gingernut biscuits, and the first Mum knew we had them was when she took a packet out of her ‘store’ to discover a very tidy hole therein and a load of crumbs .
Dad joked about being grateful it wasn’t the chocolate bourbons and set a trap.
Horace was too smart for that, as he managed to take the bait without setting it off.
I came home in the early hours one chilly night having been out with friends, and letting myself in through the back door, caught sight of Horace toasting his toes on the pilot light of Mum’s cooker.
The next day when she opened her flour container to bake, a furry whiskered face dusted in white peered back at her, and she threw the lot across the room, screaming for my Dad to do something!
Dad did, getting ‘pasta bait’ and putting it well out of reach of the dog but where it appeared Horace and his chums were coming in. The idea was that the bait was taken back to the nest to feed the young, and in so doing, they’d all die.
Although reported to be painless and humane, it had one interesting side effect.
It affected their nervous system, and I got up one morning to find one doing a ‘triple back flip with tuck’ dive off the draining board.