Wednesday, 21 April 2010


The story so far: I have transformed my garage into a cosy den by installing heat, light and carpets so that I can practise my darts and become a professional player. Well I can dream can't I?

Along with my new found darts interest, I also took up feeding the birds when I retired. (See previous posting). I bought large quantities of bird seed and treats and then of course I needed somewhere to store it. The garage (or 'junk store' as it is more truthfully named) was the answer. Day after day I scooped out the seed and since my deftness with the scoop was matched only by my darts prowess, seed flew about all over my newly laid garage carpet.

The good news was that my darts scoring was improving. I joined a darts team. This meant that I needed even more hours of practice in my garage/den. I had made the garage really warm and cosy now but soon realised that some of my beloved birds had discovered this. Sometimes when I was throwing my darts, I could hear them fidgeting in their nest which was presumably in the roof space of the garage.

Years passed and the junk piled up. My darts area was increasingly under threat as I had to kick clutter out of the way in order to throw. In time there was only one answer. I would have to clear out the garage. My wife offered to help 'if the weather was right' so we waited another year until we finally had a day when the temperature was exactly 19.3 degrees, the cloud cover was broken and the winds were light and balmy.

I started work. 'let me know when you need me' said my wife as she settled down to read her magazines indoors. I took everything except the larger furniture out of the garage so I could sweep the floor. Soon I discovered that I had spilled more bird seed than I thought. It wasn't wasted though. Most of it was just husk so the birds had obviously found it. But what were the strange small black seeds which remained uneaten?

The truth dawned. It wasn't the birds who had been eating the seed it was mice and these were mouse droppings. I gingerly moved furniture away from the walls and looked underneath. I found a mouse nest which I proudly rushed to show my wife like a cat bringing it's owner a dead bird. She immediately withdrew her offer of help.

Shortly afterwards I found a second nest. My guess is that these represented two generations of mice. The mice themselves were long gone. I wondered why. After all, I had laid carpet to provide good nesting material, given them a lovely space heater to keep them warm and cosy and even spilled large quantities of bird seed to keep them well fed.

To be honest, I feel a little hurt at their ingratitude.


  1. Ah, sweet! I have to say I'm definitely with your wife - although it would be spiders that deterred me rather than mice.

  2. oh Tony, yikes! I don't like rodents. Years ago, before the fire, we had rats in the garage. I never saw them, but I know they were there, because I would be lying in bed (my bed in on the shared wall with the garage) and I would hear those suckers skittering across the pantry shelves. Later, we found some opened bags of mostly-eaten Easter candy we had stashed so the kids wouldn't see it. A box of old blankets made a nest, and so...why would they leave? They haven't been back in a long time, which is good. Trying to sleep with them skittering just on the other side of my head was absolutely nightmare-inducing!