Tuesday 19 October 2010


I heard the rustling again today and then I saw the mouse again.  It wasn't a house mouse and it was looking worried.  I was worried too.  Now I'd seen it, I didn't want to set a trap to kill it - yes, I know about humane traps, but mice, when released, come straight back in again, so we've never used them.  I got a cushion and put it ready.

A while later, it came out again, and was moving very uncertainly.  I dropped the cushion over it and reached underneath to fetch out the little creature.  I fumbled for my phone to take a picture - as ever, I think of you first, darlings - and it sat in my hand with no attempt to get away.

It was a dear little thing, a vole rather than a mouse, and I carefully put it out in the garden, where it sat without running away.  I had to leave for a meeting, but got back an hour or so later and checked and it was still there, shaking hard.  I picked it up again and it seemed glad of the company.  The Sage was home by then.  "Maybe it's hungry?" he suggested.  I asked him to get some of the chopped maize we buy in for the chickens.  It was so sweet, it immediately picked up a piece - with its back foot - and started nibbling.  Thinking it would be easier to eat, the Sage went and fetched some bread, but it was too busy with the corn.

"Shall I put a box for it in the porch?" asked the Sage concernedly.  I discovered that the Sage is a kinder and more sentimental person than I am.  "Er, it's a vole.  A wild vole.  Let's not make a pet of it, hey.  I'll find somewhere safe for it and we will leave it."

I'm not checking.  If it doesn't make it, I'd rather not know.  As far as I'm concerned, I'm just glad I didn't kill it and did do something practical to save it.  But that's about it.

By the way, you know how mice haven't got sphincters and so, when you've handled one, your hand smells of wee?  Voles evidently have, because it didn't.  Fairy clean, as I used to say to my daughter after a bath (some 30 years ago).

I did wash though.  Obv.


savannah said...

(*ack* i've put a comment on the wrong post.)

i also had to google vole, as i'm such a city girl, i think i've only read about them, but never seen one! we're near a river and marshland, so it more a crab, froggy kinda scene here. xoxox

Z said...

We've got plenty of frogs too, and toads but too far from the sea for crabs.

I don't often see a vole of course, but I'm sure there are plenty about. And field mice and shrews. A shrew has a more pointed nose and a mouse is longer in the body.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea about the differences. I'd call it a mouse. I saw other mice with longer noses.
Does it indicate that a long hard winter is coming when the field mice come into the houses and do not run away? And you will have a look :)

DILLIGAF said...

You are such a star!!!!!!!!

Z said...

They're saying we should expect a hard winter - maybe so. We do get mice in every year about this time, but I think this little one came in by mistake.

According to Google, house mice are about all the time, but field mice come into your house in winter. Which seems about right, since there are fields all around our house.

We're a bit soppy, anyway, 4D!

Roses said...

Awwww....you're both softies at heart.

I hope it survived.

Dave said...

Yesterday there was a dead rat in the road a couple of hundred yards from my house. I'd rather not have it sitting on my hand. It didn't look very sweet.

Blue Witch said...

It might just tell all its friends how kind you are... How many cushions do you have? ;)

Rog said...

So pleased you didn't film yourself popping it in a wheelie bin.

Christopher said...

I saw what you did with your title. Bet your vole couldn't have done that.

Just passing by.

Z said...

I did worry a bit when it was pouring with rain at midnight, but I'd put it under cover and there was plenty of shelter about, so fingers crossed.

Dave, this was a vole, measuring a couple of inches. I strongly recommend you do not pick up wild rats. Tame ones are fine, they make very good pets.

It might, BW, dear little thing. I can see I might need to stock up on chopped maize.

*whew*, Rog.

I'm sure it's both adaptable and voletile, Chris. And if a cockroach can type, I don't see it being beyond a rodent.

Roses said...

I had several pet mice when I was growing up. I'm fond of rodents.

Some might argue that I've dated a few, I couldn't possibly comment.

Madame DeFarge said...

How very cute. We had a bat fall down our chimnney and after screaming down the house, I decided that it looked very cute. Preferably from a safe distance.

heybartender said...

That is really adorable.
I'm starting to hear mice in the basement. I hope they stay down there or get driven out of the house completely by the sonic repellers I've installed. Driving the dogs bonkers, though.

Rate My Sausage said...

Sorry to take a slightly different tack. You should have put it in the bin. Or stood on its head.

I am one who bothers smaller-than-us creatures. For fun.

But really. It's one tiny pointless animal. Throw it as far as you can, and forget it.

Z said...

I think we all agree that RMS should be spanked. And put in the wheelie bin until he learns his lesson.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great info. I would also like to add that there are traps that kill the mouse quickly and then seal it so you don’t have to see it or touch it. It also seals in the disease-carrying parasites that many mice have, making it safe for your family. Here’s the trap I’m talking about: http://www.victorpest.com/store/rodent-control/m265#desc

heybartender said...

The problem with a trap like that is that if you have more than one rodent, you'll end up buying them over and over. The sonic repellers have worked wonders for us, and they are a one-time purchase.