My bike was squeaking but it was only the wheel – the wood mouse in the panniers was sitting quiet among the washing. He got his freedom on the brackeny hill behind the laundrette – you have to take them at least two miles -and shot out the trap like pachinko.

The first mouse I didn’t find till noon on a day so hot the cheese had melted, so I just walked him across the stream for some coolth. Two hours later while hoeing the leeks I saw him racing back crazy through the raspberries – I knew it was him from his russety stripes – I guess he found the bridge.

Two nights later we got woken again by a gnawing in the cupboard. This one I took fifteen miles by bus to be a university campus mouse.

His friends are sill having a grand old time without him in the cupboard. I wouldn’t mind but they’ve eaten all the sponge scourers.

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