Friday, 22 October 2004

Mr Zip's Nature Diary Contd.

So there I was, getting on with my little jobs in the garden. I'd finished putting some chunky brass screws into the fence panels ripped loose by the rampaging Italian topiarists and was getting ready to fill up the birds' seed feeders.

Then the mouse walked by.

It's that mouse I've seen before, scoffing the birdseed, but this time he was really close. He crept over and picked up a sunflower seed, tested it , then ran off with it to wherever his apartment is under the badly-laid concrete path.

Seconds later he was back, so I threw him a piece of breadcrust. He thought about it briefly, then came forward and picked it up. It too passed the nibble test, so he went off with it.

When he came back I was bending over, filling up the container with peanuts, so I threw a couple his way. He liked those too. Then he came back and edged nearer the little heap of seed I put down for the ground feeders. Eventually, he was directly below me and as I was still bending over, he was within a foot of my hand. I could see his pale little limbs with their beautifully delicate paws and his bright, bright little dark eyes.

Why should it be that a fieldmouse isn't scared of me? I'd have thought that by it's very size and nature he would be scared of just about everything. I accept that I'm probably too slow to actually catch him, but getting within a foot of me seems like extreme rodent bravado.

Whatever he felt about the experience, it gave me a little thrill.

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