EEK! A MOUSE!
We have a bookshelf in the bedroom. We also have a dog bed. And, it seems, we also have a mouse.
You might already be wondering how I will manage to bring together three such disparate elements but bring them together I shall.
The first time it happened, we were puzzled. We woke up in the morning and books were spread haphazardly across the floor just in front of the shelf. An earthquake, perhaps? No, because nothing else was amiss.
We worked out that there was a resident mouse and the dog of course had been trying to track it down. Mousie would seek refuge behind the books and Madam Dog needed to nudge out the books with her nose to look for it.
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But we have an important clue, worked out from the pattern that has emerged. The mouse Madam Dog is looking for is a very learned, literate – possibly even multi-lingual – mouse.
Its favourite section of the bookshelf is clearly that which contains foreign language books: an Italian dictionary; a French dictionary; a German dictionary; a Latin dictionary; a French grammar guide.
We've explained to the dog that what she is looking for is a very learned mouse possibly trying to do some study before an important language examination but she may not have fully understood this clue. The dog brain can probably only cope with, "Enemy, enemy!" In one language.
You could be thinking that ours is a silly theory but I would like to remind you that people have been trying to stockpile toilet paper. I know which is sillier.
And you're probably thinking we could catch the mouse with a simple cheese-baited trap but you're forgetting how clever this mouse is; it would simply lift the bait delicately from the little prong so the mechanism didn't get set off. All this while expanding its vocabulary from our books (scientia potestas est).
Even worse than this, Madam Dog could come out of one of her explorations with a mousetrap clamped firmly to her nose.
And, if you think that idea is stupid, may I point out that people have also been stockpiling flour. They may never have baked bread in their life but apparently they find it reassuring to know flour is at hand.
Yes, Madam Dog would look stupid with mousetrap a-snoz but she can still celebrate the fact that she has never in her life stockpiled flour or toilet paper. Just bones.
Hickory dickory dook
The mouse ran behind the book
The clock it struck
The mouse got stuck
I know the last line doesn't rhyme but I felt I had to include it because the aforementioned book was in Latin.
The mouse continues to live dangerously but its language skills are increasing at an alarming rate.
The dog remains unsatisfied and mono-lingual.
What's with the email overload? I'm happy to receive government updates and advice on the dreaded virus and I'm happy to treat them seriously.
But why do I need an email from every business I've ever had anything to do with giving me coronavirus "news" from their perspective?
So, the supermarket sends me one to tell me they have sanitary wipes available, my credit card company tells me what they're doing (charging me high but very sanitary interest), my bank has comforting news too (they're wiping down their tellers).
The times are trying enough without all this inbox overload.
Aah! Here's one that's just come into my inbox and it provides welcome relief from the virus news overload. It's from our dog! It reads "FYI. There's a mouse hiding behind the language books but I'm on to it."