I smell a rat.

It's all gone very Beatrix Potter around here. We have a mouse in the kitchen. We think it's one mouse, though for all we know, it could be twelve mice on two hour shifts.

He (she?) is very large. Like a small rat.


The reason he/she is very large, is that there's lots to eat on our kitchen floor. That is because certain members of my family make themselves sandwiches without plates and leave a trail of mouse food from the fridge to the TV.  You know who you are.

Anyway, Mousie is not frightened of the dogs, who turn out to be ratters, not mousers. Yes, they'll go after foxes, rabbits, rats, cats, bunnies, squirrels and hares with unbridled bloodlust. But not a large rattish mouse. This obviously attests to the intelligence of my dogs, who are keen students of rodents and would not dream of chasing a creature outside their breed's remit.

This whole situation is starting to piss me off.

We sit in the kitchen and see a (large) nose sticking out from under the fridge. My daughter shouts, "Don't kill mousie, I'll catch him and take him to the countryside to rehabilitate him!"

Like she's going to visit the countryside voluntarily, without handcuffs, a blindfold, and a gun to her head.

The dogs just lie there, snoozing. If I attempt to elicit action by shouting "squirrel!" as the mouse saunters across the floor, their ears go up and their eyes spin wildly, like cartoon dogs, dubious, perhaps, but game to the possibility that Squirrel Nutkin is lurking nearby.

I am helpless, being of artistic temperament, ie, distracted by questions of aesthetic importance, the music of the spheres, etc etc.

And the man of the house?

He's plugged into his digital radio, listening to either the cricket or the football, pretending he has no family, and definitely pretending there is no mouse.