I’ve been so busy these past few weeks that I haven’t been out into the countryside at all and, as a consequence, I’m going a bit stir-crazy! But a phone call early yesterday evening led to my 32nd Bedfordshire mammal species of the year….
….a juvenile House Mouse. Sue Raven, a good friend who lives close by and works for the Greensand Trust, first encountered the mouse in her living room a couple of days ago and, consequently, set 4 Longworth Traps around the skirting boards. But she needn’t have bothered…encountering this sorry-looking individual crouching on her carpet yesterday. It’s obviously unwell, refusing to even nibble that tasty-looking block of chocolate, and Sue reckons that it may have consumed some poison put down by other residents in the building.
I’m surprised that it’s taken me this long to add House Mouse to this year’s list – it’s not for want of trying, after all, as readers of this blog will know.
The Latin name for the House Mouse is Mus domesticus. The Roman poet, Horace, called it ridiculus mus, but ridiculus mus has had the last laugh: after the likes of you and me, Mus domesticus is the world’s most widely-distributed mammal!
When I spent a year working as a pre-college student on the dairy unit at Nottingham University’s School of Agriculture at Sutton Bonington, I lived in a tiny cottage – called Lit Lun! – which had a resident population of House Mice that would scamper around the property. Falling asleep in the armchair after milking one morning, I awoke to find a little House Mouse sat on the arm looking at me quizzically!