Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Remains of the Mouse

Rushing out the other morning, we skimmed (mercifully) over the nether half of a mouse, thoughtfully deposited on the top step by our cats. (One assumes…). George hurriedly flung it onto the autumn leaves, (which I heard this week are in fact Very Good for your flowerbeds and not just the laziest place to chuck them).

Coming home several hours later, we couldn’t help but notice a sort of creakily squelching sound emanating from the vicinity of the late mouse…

Closer inspection revealed a Hedgehog merrily chomping on the remains. He stopped and stared back at us for a moment, then as soon as we'd gone indoors, set to again with gusto.

We watched him through the window as he enjoyed his lunch; from time to time he'd turn it over, steadying it with his paw and considering another angle to dive in from... Short of tossing it high in the air (and Throwing Up afterwards), he was just like a cat! I knew they ate leftover kittysplodge, but a vaguely recognisable body part...?

A quick search online unearthed a multitude of Hedgehogs Eating Things – mostly fruit and veg, fortunately. The commentaries are sometimes slightly gooey, but I suppose I’d be the same were it mine own hedgehog, and some of the youtube clips do show them being most appealing pets… (Although we don't hear the hedgehog's thoughts on ranging free round the carpet).

Anyway, after consuming its own bulk in Mouse, this hedgehog scuttled off through the leaves, climbed the three-inch fence and nose-dived onto the concrete, then hurtled across the yard and up the garden path. Watched with great alarm by Daphne-Cat, who was evidently relieved to see it come out underneath the other side of the car instead of climbing up to where she was sitting on the bonnet. (She was probably miffed too, having put those Nethers by for later).

It is, of course, heartwarming that the poor old Mouse did not die in vain, and that the hedgehog and no doubt many ants benefitted... Not to mention The Hapless Worm - usually on the menu yet soon to feast upon the bacteria and tiny particles that once were mouse.

It's a Jungle Out There - thank god we're not at the wrong end of many food chains...