Sunday, May 07, 2006

Wee sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous beastie

P. hurries the children out the front door for the five-minute walk to school. They’re running late. The door closes and I breathe a sigh of relief, half-heartedly clear up a few breakfast crumbs and put the Dora DVD back into its box. [I lied to my children yesterday evening — I told them that the new Dora DVD from Grandma only has an English soundtrack. In fact, they could watch it in Greek or Portuguese or, more importantly for them, two different versions of French if they (i.e. I) liked). The lie is for their own linguistic good.]

I saunter upstairs and into the bathroom. While I’m brushing my teeth, I hear an insistent rustling noise coming from ... I’m not quite sure where. It gets louder and louder. I open the windows and listen, is it coming from the garden ? No, it’s definitely inside the house. The rustling continues and there seems to be some discreet bumping too. I tiptoe towards our bedroom and the noise gets louder: it’s definitely coming from in there and it’s definitely rodents. I peek in the door from a safe distance but see no signs of movement, no long tails poking out from under the bed.

I’m now terrified. Oh what a panic's in my breastie. I dash downstairs. How am I going to get my things out of a bedroom obviously under siege by several large families of mice or maybe even r……, no, no, no, no, no.

P. is taking ages. He strolls in with a baguette and the Sud Ouest newspaper under his arm. « I think you should take a look upstairs, there seems to be a strange noise coming from our bedroom » I say casually, inwardly shrieking « Help, help, help, we need the pest control people, immediately »

P. goes upstairs, sees nothing in the bedroom, opens the door that leads up to the attic and finds a helpless little house martin* lying exhausted at the bottom of the stairs.

He takes off like a jet fighter when P. opens the window and holds him out in the fresh May air.

* or maybe it was a swallow, or a swift.

8 comments:

Ms Mac said...

I would have been the cow'rin' tim'rous beastie in this situ. Nothing sleekit about my shrieking either.

Anonymous said...

It's a swift ..... had long discussion about this with my sister the other day. Over the towns it's swifts, out in the country it's swallows, and the house martins seem to lurk in the villages (well I better look into that last one)

What is amazing is that the swifts don't come down to earth except to sit on their nests. They eat, sleep and mate in the air.

My nephew heard a strange noise the other day in the kitchen at the country house in Charente. He went to investigate quite merrily as he thought it sounded like the cafetière which hadn't been turned off properly. No such luck, a huge snake was rearing its head and hissing in a corner. He stepped back sharpish, this tremendously long black and yellow grass snake was looking particularly menacing, I'd rather have your wee tim'rous beastie, Lesley!

Five minutes before there had been another mysterious noise, like an aeroplane apparently, but twas a mere swarm of 25000 bees coming to roost in the horse chestnut outside the kitchen door. (got the number from the apiculteur who came to fetch them the next day). vive la nature and so glad your swift recovered!

deborah said...

oops, forgot my name, but a PS: when Lucie types her name into google she is directed to Peregrinations, fame at last!

Lesley said...

Ms Mac: I would have screamed if it had been brown and furry, shudder, shudder..

Deborah: Thanks for clearing that up. My brother explained the difference to me once. Something to do with the tail shape isn't it RG?
Must tell the children about the snake, they're obsessed by snakes and scorpions at the moment.

clair said...

I had a similar thing happen to me a few weeks back...I was convinced there was a furry thing hiding in a box in my bedroom, but when I finally got up the courage to look, there was a beak looking back at me. As soon as I got the window open and the lid of the box completely cleared, he headed straight out.

wendy said...

That snake thingy would have done me in..seriously.. I hate them and would still be shaking..mice don't bother me though. Rats do.

In Argentina, we came back home one night and saw a mommy snake and 6 baby snakes slithering down the passage. And we kept our slippers on the nightstand because of scorpions...it were right interesting, it were! Not.

Kim/Thomas said...

creatures in the house, other than the domesticated ones, freak me out..my screaching is not pretty, it can be heard clear across town:)

Antipodeesse said...

You're all a bunch of wussies! I love mice, birds, spiders and snakes! I'm a big, bad, brave, hard woman apparently! (Although I'll admit to shuddering slightly when stepping inadvertently on a slug...)