The Ventilator

Incorporating The Ranger's Blog

Notes from a Wildlife Garden

Supermouse! A Christmas Tail

By Ruth D’Alessandro, The Wildlife Gardener Oxted town’s in Surrey By nearby Tandridge Village. The M25 at three lanes wide Runs across the northern side A pleasanter spot you never spied When begins my ditty Almost seven weeks ago To see The Wildlife Gardeners suffer so From vermin, twas a pity.


Mice! They came indoors and watched the telly And stole the chestnuts from the larder They ate the chocs and chewed the jelly And made the housework that much harder. Ate crumbs inside some sheepskin slippers Their wee made cupboards smell like kippers. They blew raspberries at next door’s cats. And deaf to the sonic mouse repeller That should have sent them packing By shrieking and squeaking in Fifty different ultrasonic sharps and flats. But didn’t. At last the Wildlife Gardener in exasperation To Mortons The Padlock hardware store went shopping.’Tis clear’ I cried,’The mice have determination And holes in our house, well, they need blocking. But in the meantime, as the woodwork is crap, A temporary solution is to buy a trap. Oh for a trap, a trap, a trap!’ An hour we looked at mousetraps. At length, suggested “Little Nippers? For those tiny rogues inside your slippers?” There would be blood. But instant death? Would I want them breathe their final breath Inside my house? They did not, after all, choose to be mouse. So allowing the mice to be aliver, I left Mortons lighter by a fiver, And in my hand a trap humane To catch mice and let them go again – But three miles hence, by bike and rucksack Else the blighters find their own way back. That night the trap was baited And hidden, primed for a little fella. Not even until midnight we waited Before a mouse followed the sweet scent of Nutella. Clunk! The trapdoor shut. The mouse was caught. What an effective trap I’d bought! But from within there glowed red eyes I’d never seen a mouse that size. His tail was long, his ear was torn. He growled: ‘You’ll curse the day that you were born’… Tense his whiskers and a-twitch all… The mouse equivalent of Phil Mitchell. I tipped him in an old vivarium With water and food as per the Geneva Convention A Perspex Sangatte for mice facing exiles To Dormansland, a distance of five miles. We went to bed and shut the door And thought of Mitchellmouse no more. The morning came. The mouse had fled; He was at large in our homestead. He’d punched a hole in the vivarium roof A tank we thought would be mouseproof. Well, mouseproof to a normal creature Not the rodent version of the Terminator.

Vivarium escape hole

So what to do? Mitchellmouse was loose And fancy free all round our hoose. We’ll not re-catch him in that trap, no never He’s sussed it out now, he’s too clever. But ever the optimist I set it once more And left it primed upon the floor. On Christmas morn, the trap was sprung Another mouse was trapped among The presents and the Christmas tree. We peered in, two red eyes glowed out Recaptured, after his breakout Was Mitchellmouse. Like his namesake, He was all brawn and all beefcake, Low IQ. He’d followed his stomach and not his head To that plastic box with the chocolate spread.


Alas, alas for Mitchellmouse! Sellotaped inside his plastic gaol. We took him for a five-mile drive And released him, bowed but still alive In a field of stubble and old hay bales. And there he can stay, he’ll not be back. Unless he follows the railway track Back home. Unless he manages to have A high spec, fully-charged rat-nav.

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2 thoughts on “Supermouse! A Christmas Tail

  • Great poem! Glad you were able to evict Mitchellmouse, he doesn’t sound like the sort of character you’d want prowling the house after dark.

    We had a mouse set up home with us just before Christmas, unfortunately he didn’t get as far as either of the humane traps I set – the cat found him first.

  • Ruth, you are priceless! x


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