Of mice, men and the Iron AgeMarch 15, 2008
Husband and I tackled yesterday’s minor domestic crisis with our usual weapon: a good argument. The only points we could agree on were, a) there probably was a mouse behind the television, and b) we didn’t want to give it back to the cat.
Husband finally conceded that we weren’t going to catch it with a stick and a biscuit tin. ‘Go and buy a trap,’ he suggested. ‘Don’t waste hours trying to rig something up. You’re supposed to be writing.’ (Husband is very keen to encourage writing, in the fond hope that it will one day make him rich enough to retire. I have explained that Roman medics don’t have the same wide appeal as boy wizards, but he remains hopeful.)
There is a shop just down the road that sells everything. No doubt they have humane mousetraps. But researching the Ruso books has left me faintly ashamed of my twenty-first century helplessness. We carry the genes of ancestors who were brave, ingenious and resourceful, and who couldn’t just nip out to the shops. So in honour of the spirit of the Iron Age, I turned to Google for advice.
Result, ten minutes later: husband gone to work, humane mousetrap set, me diligently writing. (Well, two of those are true.)
Ten hours later: husband back from work, interrupts diligent writing with the three little words that have sustained our marriage over many years – ‘You were right!’
Bewildered but lively mouse is returned to the far end of the garden, untouched by cat or human hand. Steve Smith, designer of the do-it-yourself humane mousetrap, I salute you. And now I really must get on with the diligent writing…