Monday, 18 January 2010

A Small Furry Housemate

As you may have read in a previous post I do have problems with mice (mys) in the house at this time of year. With fields and orchards behind the house it is to be expected. However this year there has been no sign of them, so the traps have been left unset.

You can imagine my frustration therefore when I woke to hear rustling in the corner of the bedroom. I turned on the light, nothing. In the morning I checked everywhere - the worksurfaces showed no tell-tale signs of mouse droppings, the bread and potatoes remained ungnawed. I decided I must have been mistaken. The following night - rustling. Again I searched - no sign of mice activity.

Then the other evening I was sat writing at my computer when a small mouse-shaped creature ran across the floor. I set the traps and waited. I watched as the wee animal, as bold as brass, investigated the living room floor. It approached the trap, I braced myself for the sound of another mouse meeting its doom, but nothing happened. I got up and looked. The animal was near the trap and was totally ignoring its contents. Then it pounced on something on the floor. Puzzled I looked more closely, this was not a mouse, but a shrew. I am used to the small variety of shrew we get in England, but this was definitely its larger Czech cousin.

I am fond of shrews. I like the little feisty critters, who will take on all comers, even animals their own size. They need to, they have to eat their body weight in food everyday to survive. I unset the traps and read up about them. This one is I think one of the white-toothed variety. I read that it is solitary, does not climb, does on occasion live in houses and most importantly is carnivorous. What does it eat? Why! Spiders, flies, beetles, cockroaches and mice. My little brown friend can definitely stay!


Philip Wilkinson said...

Now this beast is all very fine, and I can see its insectivorous attributes could be most useful. But where does it poo?

potok said...

Well you may regret asking that! What it doesn't do is poo on worksurfaces as it doesn't climb, so it must be on the floor or under it. But I have seen no signs.

Perhaps the absence of mouse poo is the result of the hard work of my furry friend.

Oh and why might you regret asking? Well shrews are like hares, they have within their gut beneficial bacteria, these work on the poo generating additional nutrients. And so: the shrew eats its poo and then poos it again. There I did warn you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...