Monday, 6 December 2010
It started with a scratching, scurrying sound in the middle of the night.
"Did you hear that?" I asked Dan.
"Yes," he said.
"Squeak," said someone in the rafters.
"Was that a mouse?" I asked stupidly, still half asleep.
"Probably." Long pause. "Though it sounds pretty big for a mouse."
Oh, the beauty of big old country houses. The one Dan lives in is particularly attractive to rodents as it's shared by several MBA students. Think messy late-night dinners, hastily assembled sandwiches, pizza-fuelled student parties.
Dan called me in the afternoon, sounding partly disgusted, partly triumphant.
"Guess where I am right now!"
"At Carrefour, buying rat poison."
"So it was a rat? Did you see it?"
"Urgh. Was it big?"
"It was the size of a cow. It could barely fit its head through the door."
Dan had been sitting in his room, studying for his next class, when he heard a sound in his house-mate Nicolas' room. Someone was moving things around. How strange, Dan thought, Nicolas came back and he didn't say hello. He continued reading. Nicolas continued moving stuff around. Dan got up to see if he needed a hand...but when he entered the room, there was no sign of Nicolas. Instead, there was the cow-sized rat. It had been rummaging around for more paper to build its nest.
"I'm going to send you a photo of the nest," Dan said. "You can tell it's an MBA rat."
"It used the Financial Times."