Thursday, 29 October 2009


I’m sitting at the table in the back room trying to get a package label together to send our disc printer off for maintenance and I can hear a metallic tapping noise under the table. Very apprehensively, I peer behind the sewing machine (you have to get right under the table to do this, so you can’t make a rapid exit easily. This is a bit worrying.) and there I see what seems to be a mouse with a trapped leg – but no sign of the chocolate! I pull the sewing machine out of the way and left S to pick it up on the shovel to take out into the back garden. Apparently it squeaked at him when he picked it up (complete with trap) which he found a bit unnerving. Having deposited it on the grass he said what do you want me to do? To which, the only real answer is kill it. After all, with a broken leg it’s not going to survive anyway. So he whacked it with the shovel which did the job – bit too enthusiastically really because the trap got rather flattened.

So – was it a mouse …. or a baby rat? Urgent internet research revealed a table and photos. Having deposited the carcass into one of those sealable bags it was decided, on the basis of large head, small ears, thick tail and bigger back feet, that this was definitely, oh no, a baby rat.

More, rather more urgent internet research threw up the added information that litters can be up to 12. So we’ve caught one …. trouble is they start to breed from six weeks, pregnancy lasts about three weeks – say we had six boys and six girls – just do the maths ….

Everyone now being rather twitchy, and conscious of bottoms of trouser legs. Go out to buy some Marigolds, as research shows they’re best when dealing with rodents.

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