Town mouse has an invasion

You might expect this column to be in sympathy with the plight of small rodents attempting to get by in the city, but I’m with the Prime Minister. When a mouse recently scuttled across the floor of 10, Downing Street, Mr Cameron is reported to have flung a fork at it. A good effort, although he missed. Forgive the family one-upmanship, but my father once hit a moving mouse with a thrown slipper. Having happened long before I was born, it became a family legend.

I don’t remember having seen house mice when I was young. But when my wife and I bought a Northamptonshire cottage, we found that we shared it with more than the children. The limit was reached when one jumped out of a box of porridge I was pouring. That explained the huge range of storage jars available in local shops. In London, intermittent scuttling noises persuaded me to install sonic devices that are supposed to hurt mice’s ears.

All was quiet until our 10-year-old son Charlie saw one of the creatures in his bedroom. With a female German exchange student about to arrive, it was time for a no-nonsense solution. Our visitors seem to have enjoyed the special food we’ve left out for them, but I don’t think they’ll be back for seconds.