I entrap a mouse!!!
Looking at my watch, I realise that it is time to check the traps. There is no point in buying humane mousetraps if one leaves a mouse in there for a long time with no food or TV etc. As the man of the house, I decide to go myself.
The joists are riddled with woodworm and as soft as cheese. But being a courageous Norfolk Steve Irwin I am not afraid as I crawl across them on my knees, clutching my torch and trying not to touch the loft insulation (because it is itchy).
My trap is full of mice!!!
There are three in there. I carefully grab it and retrace my kneels, bringing my prize downstairs into the main part of the cottage. They don't appear to be making much of a bid for freedom.
"Mice!!!" I announce to the LTLP, thrusting the trap at her. She looks up in distaste from the thickie bit of the newspaper, annoyingly unimpressed with my resourcefulness at pest extermination.
I examine the trap in triumph. Two smaller mice are sort of cowering at the back, whilst the larger one sits in front, looking at me. It doesn't seem annoyed or reproachful, just a bit... sad.
I locate my shoes and carry the trap into the back garden.
It's horribly cold outside. I shiver as I step out into the rapidly gathering frost. We hunters are used to harsh conditions, but it really is very peaky.
A small remorse nags at me.
My torch lights the way into the woodshed. It is very slightly warmer in there. Placing the trap down gently, I release the catch. The mice do not emerge. I give it a slight tap. The mice still do not emerge. I say something like "Here, mousey mousey!!!" and emergentless remain the mice.
They seem perfectly alive and well in there, but unwilling to leave for whatever reason. I am not sure whether I have traumatised them or whether it's just that it is warmer where they are. I try various ploys to get them to be on their way, but to no avail.
I wrap some sacking over the trap to keep it cosy, and plod back indoors to fetch them a snack.