Saturday, 31 January 2009

On living with predators.

One of the features of life with predators in your house, is that they occasionally bring in prey. Normally small mammals, occasionally a small bird, once a pigeon!
Sometimes I intercept the victim and set it free again, but generally the prey is in various states of being dead: "soon to be", "freshly deceased but intact", "disembowelled".

Every morning, I go down and perform what I call the forensic sweep. I check for dead animals and dispose of them or their organs before the rest of the family awake, then I clean up.
Today was special. I found one dead mouse and the face and entrails belonging to a second mouse. The evidence was eliminated before anyone noticed.

I didn't spot the third live mouse; my wife did.... when she put her foot into her boot and it didn't fit properly and something wriggled inside.

I heard her screaming from my office 6 miles away; the subsequent phone call was entirely unnecessary.