Wednesday, 5 November 2008


A few weeks ago we had bestowed upon us a box filled with all sorts of pan related goodies. They were packed in paper to offer some protection and the box was discarded in a quiet corner for later disposal. It must be hard to believe but we do actually have a few quiet hinterlands within the tent, areas infrequently visited and it was into one of these that the box sat untouched for a couple of weeks. The weekend just passed was tent relocation time, we had an extra week on the last spot because it was wazzing it down all last weekend and we couldn't face moving.

During the move I grabbed the box and started to take it outside. The box started making scrabbling noises and I saw beasts scampering about within, to my shame I made a sound like a shocked girl. TLB found this most amusing. I took it outside and deposited it on the grass. Gingerly I peeled back the lid of the box and peered in. Nothing.

At this point my money was squarely on a mouse, but I had considered the possibility of a shrew or a vole or, horror of horrors, a rat. Please not a rat, I would certainly have to kill it with a hammer and would have to show no mercy when I eat it to strike fear into the hearts of its evil besnouted comrades. Hammer primed, safety glasses on, I lifted up the top layer of paper from the box. A tail darted about in the shredded paper that was clearly their home. Then came a bulging set of eyes. It is a mouse dammit, thank god. It was a field mouse I think, it froze and locked onto my gaze. There was a glint in his eye telling me to make my move, daring me to cross the line. I thought he was rather cute and resolved not to eat him.

It turned out it had a spouse as well, also cowering in the box and they had not yet worked out that they could jump free from the box so they sat there, staring at us. It was at this point that the dog bowled in wondering what all the fuss was about. The mice, previously inert were now fighting for survival. One of them burrowed into the paper and the other made a break for it.

It was at this point I knew that it did in fact have to die, because the little bastard was running back to the tent. I was there holding back the dog to ensure the little free loaders survival and he makes a dash for my food box. In a last minute save by TLB she managed to scare him away from the door so he burrowed under the tent and hid from the dog whom I had given up restraining. Meanwhile TLB managed to herd the other mouse into the hedge away from the attention of our somewhat over zealous amateur hunter-prancer.

The little swine must have been in paradise. There was quinoa and cous cous, rice and pasta. Vegetables and of course, cheese. What disappoints me most is the dog. When I bought him it was on the understanding that he would be excellent at killing small cute things and insects. It would appear that he can quite happily co-habit with whole families of furry fiends for weeks at a time without so much as raising a hackle. He has been in disgrace ever since.

It does raise the question of what I can do about vermin, or gorgeous little furballs as TLB would have it. It has become very apparent that we need to keep the food box closed and clean up spills quickly but what can I do about dog food? It gets put in his bowl each day and sometimes he saves it. I have never met a dog that saves its food before but Sometimes I can give him a sausage and he will squirrel it away for later use. He can't exactly stash his worldly morsels in Tupperware and would be stuffed with a zip lock bag. He can't even work a knife, let alone scissors, which has the fortunate upside of making him very easy to trap in a tent. So we have to accept that we may get the odd nocturnal visitor. The quiet backwaters of the tent are to be made useful so as to provide the maximum disruption to the nesting instincts of the neighbors and the dog will be required to meet strict targets on rodent rendition.


Anonymous said...

lol, sounds like you're having fun, although I must confess jealous I am not, Dom x

Anonymous said...

Hi, just read your entire blog to date after seeing the URL on a discussion forum.

Bloody hell, mate. Brilliant work on making the big jump. Really well-written blog too.

I've been sorely tempted to do something similar recently. Even found a local-ish campsite which will do a deal for a seasonal pitch from the start of April to end of September for £1000. And they have free wi-fi :-)

Good luck with your continuing adventures, and I'll be reading every posting from now on.

PS: TLB sounds like a fantastic woman. She hasn't got a sister, has she?

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