Little mice with clogs on

I’ve not been well for the last couple of weeks, coughing like an old 60-a-day smoker. The days were bad, but the nights worse, waking coughing after an hour or two’s sleep and having to sit up for the remainder of the night. I read a lot and designed a quilt for our baby granddaughter, but sleep remained elusive.

When I finally admitted defeat and saw the doctor, she diagnosed sinusitis; I left the pharmacy with a huge bagful of goodies, which started to help within a couple of days. By Wednesday night, I was sure I’d be able to catch up on some much-needed kip.

It started well enough, but at 3am I suddenly found myself wide awake. Why? I wasn’t coughing. Then I heard it; a scratching, scrabbling, chewing type of sound, coming from the corner. I woke Nick, who, not hearing anything for 10 seconds or so, went back to sleep. While he snored, the other occupant of the room remained silent, but as soon as Nick was quiet, our visitor started again, performing what sounded to me like a clog dance under the bed. Then it seemed to get its claws caught in the rug; what sort of a mouse has claws big enough to do that!? As the noise continued, the creature morphed into some monstrous, man-eating, morris-dancing rodent in my over-active imagination. Eventually, by 5am, the noise woke Nick; he searched the room with a torch, but found nothing. He put out a mouse trap and went back to sleep; the noises continued, including what sounded to me like something sucking the raisin off the mousetrap…….. Sometime after 6, I dropped off to sleep, only to wake at 7, coughing.

Nothing in the mousetrap, its raisin still intact. In fact nothing to suggest that this wasn’t all a figment of our imagination.

Nick set up his special mouse trap; a plank leading up to a bucket of water, across which is a length of dowel, smeared with Nutella at the far end. The mouse goes up the plank and onto the dowel, which spins, landing it in the water. Within a few hours we’d caught two mice, little ones, totally not what I was dreading.

And last night I slept like the dead.

Nick’s special mousetrap, now rehoused in the chaufferie for the start of winter.