Monday, 14 May 2007

Mouse convicted of seed pilfering

The rain has stopped! There was a brief window of sunshine here today in which to pop out and marvel at how much the grass has grown over the past week. Other marvels include my courgettes and lettuces which have really been working hard at adding lovely succulent leaves.

Maisie the Exmoor pony has settled in well. She is adorable. Bullseye, my Section A Welsh pony has taken to licking her (starting at the back toes, working upwards, don’t get too high - squeak!). Perhaps, since she is brown, he thinks she is made of chocolate? If so I might have a lick too!

They ended the rodeo of meeting each other by crashing into the fence, snapping the wire and breaking a fence post. Brian discovered the crime and the three perpetrators who were whistling and looking the other way, feigning innocence. There was not a mark on any one of them, of course.

They have now moved from their posh quarters in the big field where there was rather too much grass for three fat ponies, to a much smaller and less grassy field. It boasts an old green lane, now a bridle path, so that should provide plenty of interest for the inquisitive Maisie. She has already encountered Mum and Polly dog on the path. Sniffing of noses ensued (dog and pony only, not Mum!) and Polly licked Maisie on the nose. Awww!

But it might be a little too much of a sociable situation for some of the walkers that come through, so I think we’ll have to put a bit of horse leccy fence along the lane to protect hapless ramblers from an over familiar Exmoor pony.

On Saturday Cylch Meithrin held its fundraising car wash in the village which was, as usual, both fun and lucrative. We raised £123.50 after washing about 25 cars and two mountain bikes. We offered to wash the hunky bikers’ muddy legs too – but they wouldn’t let us! Three people paid us not to wash their cars. Perhaps they were customers from previous years, or maybe they spotted a three-year-old scrubbing at filthy paintwork with a kitchen brush and thought better of it. I can tell you, from experience, that Audis are the easiest to wash and Citroens the worst. The mountain bikes were the fiddliest, but, thanks to strategic Lycra on the owners, the most fun!

In the garden I have been flat out weeding, planting, weeding and weeding. War has been waged against massed ranks of slugs and a little brown mouse. The former were lured to a happy end with the offer of unlimited beer, the latter (not our friend from Y Mochyn Drwg over the hill) was given the option of a traditional snap trap or a comfy humane live trap, baited with parmesan. Unsurprisingly the mouse shunned the snap kill and opted instead for a cheesy snack and a night of cooling its toes behind bars. The following morning it appeared before a kangaroo court where it pleaded guilty to several counts of seed pilfering (sweetcorn, pea and bean, having a 100% success rate in the sweetcorn). Judge Brian donned his black cap and was about to sentence poor brown mouse to death, but the convict was rescued by the three soppy females in the jury who insisted it should be deported. “Don’t you dare kill it!” bellowed the jury. Mousie was taken to the hay meadow and released on to one of the banks. She’s probably on her way back now, to her nice, warm polytunnel.

Slugs should learn from the above. I have no compunction about stomping on a slug shouting ‘take that you b*****d!’, but mousies get more lenient treatment because they are so darned cute. If there was such a thing as a cute slug I wouldn’t show it the bottom of my wellie, but they are such odious creatures even soppy old me has no trouble dispatching them.

Talking of wildlife I heard my first cuckoo on Thursday 10th May and the following night I encountered a toad on the path outside the front door. I was letting the dog out for a pee at the time and he hurtled down the path and disappeared into the dark. Silence fell, apart from ‘pat, pat, pat’. What was that? I fetched torch and camera and found a little toad with an ‘uh oh, I’m toast’ look on his face. But I told him how beautiful he was and that he was welcome at any time in the garden. Plenty of slugs, I informed him - so long as they are not all in the ‘pub’ drinking the free beer that is!


  1. I heard my first cuckoo on 23 April, been very quiet since though.

    Glad pony is settling in well.

    Know what you mean about hubby's and blogging, i'm only on compter now because Stna is on night out in his lorry and not here!

  2. PS I feel like you about slugs!

  3. I haven't heard a cuckoo yet, really unusual this year, but did see a toad. Know what you mean about mice, although the ones I see are usually chewed and onthe carpet. Maisie is beautiful! My husband is giving me irritated looks now too, it's like a secret habit that I have.

  4. My heart goes out to anyone else who has slug problems.. I love reading about your life.. Cats deal well with mousies, then you don't have to. Just swallow hard and think 'It's only nature'.

  5. Lovely pony! I look forward to lots of blogs about two fat ponies!
    I know what you mean about the mouse. Every morning when I go out to feed the hens I find a little mouse - in the bin or just running away. It's hard to begrudge him the seed as he's so small - I just know that he has an enormous family behind him though.

  6. So glad that all is well in pony land. I'm the same with slugs - can't tread on snails though - like them. Mice I love and even used to have one live in the chicken shed - I used to feed it - which stopped it stealing the chicken feed. It was going to get in anyway - nothing I could do . . . and I know they carry disease . . . then again what animal doesn't . . .including us . . and my chickens are fine!

  7. lovely pony and lovely blog as usual. we have mice in the workshop and afraid we are not releasing them into the wild. however they do cunning things like remove cheese and leave snapped traps without any sign of snapped mice so they are clearly winning. am with you on slugs, hate them, hate them.

  8. I do squish the slugs but they don't go easily I used to be a little kinder to snails but not this year. They have been massacaring my seeds in the greenhouse as well as my runners outside and so they are crushed into oblivion without no compassion.

    The photo in Colby is gorgeous I always intended to go there when we lived in Carms but never got round to it. Will definately make the effort though sometime in the future when we are home visiting.

    Felt a little homesick reading all the little bits about the cylch.

  9. oh Mags, I'd forgotten you were getting an Exmoor and then opened your blog and there was that stunning picture - aren't they the MOST gorgeous ponies?
    have so enjoyed catchingup with your computer keeps booting me out so I have to catch up when it allows me!


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