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Vermin at Large

08 October 2000

In search of inner peace after a hard year at the chalkface, a cycle trip to Mavora Lakes was in order. The first night was disturbed by the familiar rustling of plastic bags often associated with alpine starts or zealous Germans in Youth Hostels. As I came to, I realised that I was in neither a hut nor a YHA. The torch revealed a clutch of mice giving our luggage the once over. Once the food bag was inside we settled down only to be disturbed minutes later by rustling inside the tent. Neither I nor my burly husband are afraid of mice but there's something sphincter gripping about one in your tent. We eventually located him just as 'he' shot out a hole in the tent wall. Leucoplast served to patch it up. We feigned sleep as various rustling continued around us. These were hungry mice. In the light of day we discovered a second mouse sized hole. Bloody rodents had chewed and sawed their way into our tent, then burrowed into my Reservoir Dog to make a dawn raid on the king size block of Energy chocolate. Where is Tarentino's Mr Pink when you need him?

Julia Malcolm