Easter Beast Feast!

April 6, 2015

Cockadoodledooo my little Spring Chickens!

I say! The Easter Bunny is a jolly good sport what? Delivering bounteous del-egg-table delights to all those hungry beasts. Egg-straordinary!

But come closer, do, and prick up those ear tufts while you’re about it, for I have a tiny secret to tell… much like our beloved Father Christmas, as magical as that egg-stra special Bunny is, He simply can’t hide all those eggs in all the nooks and crannies of lands far and wide all by Himself! Although undoubtedly the star of our annual Easter egg-stravaganza, He has a supporting cast of thousands. Animals gather from all four corners – all shapes and sizes, all hues and musks – to meet our illustrious leader at dusk.

And oh what a sight Chickadees! A glimmering mountain of treats… red, blue, yellow, purple, pink, green, gold… glittering in the light of the full moon. We gaze, mesmerised, mouths as gaping as our empty bags, while the Easter Bunny entwines our tiny brains in his ingenious plan, woven with words on a velveteen sky. We beasts enchanted and entranced, beady eyed with obedience, fill satchels and saddlebags. Briefcases, backpacks, purses, pockets, socks, sacks, handbags and hats overflowing with colour and brimming with joy! Then with trusty moon shadows right by our sides, we dissolve into the night on our marvellous quest.

Bleary eyed and achey pawed we finish our task just before dawn. We curl up together in tussocks or tufts, and slip into sweet dreams of chocolate caramel marshmallow fudge. After a long and fruitful laborious night, we’re awoken a little later by squeals of delight!

Oh Happy Easter my Dear Flufflings!

 

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Hocus Crocus

February 15, 2015

Greetings dear ones!

And I say! What a curious juxtaposition of calendar dates?? Friday the ominous 13th, followed in hot pursuit by Valentine’s Day d’amor. On the one day, all grown humans awaken from a long, late Winter slumber, and ‘pon realising the combination of day and date, are foreshadowed with doom and dread! Heads down, huddled into woollen wear, doing their upmost to make it through the day with minimal mishaps. Yet the very next morning dear hearts, they awaken once more, this time to flowers, chocolates, proclamations of everlasting love. And, for the luckiest ones, instead of hiding behind doors with curtains closed lest superstition comes a-tap tap tapping at the window, an intimate elbow to elbow dining experience at the nearest Maison du Mange…

Well it’s enough to make a mouse’s furry head spin like an inquisitive owl! But it’s not all consumerist hocus pocus. No, no. I shall expound…

You see, my cherubs, we teeny creatures aren’t bound by rigid calendars but meander our way through the seasons, lead down this track, through that tunnel, or around the other way entirely by Mother Nature herself. We take our cues from the earth and the skies. Creatures far and wide are plumping up feathers, puffing out fur, shaking their tails and doing a twirl. They broadcast their yearning for union. Those eerie cries on the chill night air aren’t the Friday the 13th boogy man waiting at the end of the garden for lights out, but Madam Vixen’s ballad to a wandering mate. And the amorous chorus at dawn’s early break are our feathered friends serenading their sweethearts down from highest branch and furthest twig. All small beast’s energies are effervescing as the rich rain soggen earth offers us flowers, Crocus and Snow Drops lusciously bursting forth to announce the imminence of Spring.

So you see, whether they know it or not, these wondrous humans join us by taking their cues from what is happening in every thicket and hedge, on every hillock and mount top, down every burrow and furrow. Spring is in the air and love is all around!!

And after a cold, hard winter spent volunteering for the Hibernation Preservation Association, maintaining the habitat’s of hibernating species, tucking said species back in should they wake too early, replenishing caches of nuts and the like, I must say that Peas, Marmaduke and I are utterly enraptured by Spring’s enamoured advances!

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Medicine Mouse

September 27, 2014

Gesundheit!

An incendiary sneeze indeed! But fear not my snuffly little beasties, there’s no need to cork those exploding nostrils just yet, I have a pot of potion bubbling upon the hob especially for you!

Peas, Marmaduke and I rode out, post fondue luncheon (in honour of the charming vole family residing next door to the compost bin in Bramble Wood – gets rather nippy down at the bottom of the garden what, and Peas struck on the notion we ought to fatten them up for the changing of the seasons, they’ll be thankful for a blanket of fondue lining the fur in a month or two…) to work off a few calories on a foraging mission.

Marmaduke soon got used to his 4×4 off road cart (…it’s amazing what one can do with half an egg box, a chop stick, and a pair of jam jar lids…) and was galloping along in high glee, wild eyed with the wind in his mane. Peas was convinced we were about to lose a jam jar lid when we took off over the Primordial Soup as if that perilous everlasting stagnant puddle festering at the bottom of Siamese Cat Lane were the water jump at The Grand National! “Chocks away!” I cried, holding onto my two pals for dear life, hoping The Duke wasn’t about to land us all up to our middles like Doctor Foster en route to Gloucester slap bang in the middle of that noxious quagmire. Lo and behold Marmaduke touched down as lightly as if it were the moon landing. Turns out he’d masterminded a suspension system from left over chunks of cheese dipped bread.

Our mission, dear hearts, was to forage a cart full of elderberries for a winter potion concocted to keep the snuffles at bay. The cart was filled to overflowing in a trice, the Primordial Soup was vaulted in the swish of a horses tail, and were soon back at HQ tinkering around with lemon, ginger, honey, cloves, mixed spice and star anise for our cold and flu busting brew. Our health packed potion smelled like the very essence of the festive season itself – rich and fruity, softly spicy with a zesty lift – Christmas in a jar!

Neither Peas, Maramduke or I could wait until we caught a cold to try a spoonful or three, well well darlings, they do say prevention is better than a cure after all…

 

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Giddy up darlings!

The latest news from your beloved murine chums and their favourite new stallion pal-ion is that Marmaduke loves Peas… and carrots! But it’s a devil of a job to keep up –  Marmaduke eats like a horse.

The two friends have formed a ‘Campaign for Carrots’, and at President Peas’s pesky behest, one simply can’t grow them fast enough! Of course Maramduke is happy enough nibbling the frothy tops for now but for how long?? Dare I utter the fateful words… we didn’t have nearly enough rain in June… so my dear little legumes aren’t yet luscious enough for Marma’s appetite.

However, yet again the legendary Bouncy Joe sprang to my rescue. Just yesterday I was taking in the air on my early morning constitutional and, en route to shoot the breeze with The Long Man, Bouncy’s 17th born daughter Boo Boo ricocheted down the lane like a rubber ball. “My my my, what a magnificent tail Boo Boo has…” I marvelled as she zigged this way and zagged that. But then, quelle horreur! I realised the additional length was attributed to an eager young stoat hot on her cotton tush! What is a mouse to do when an unshakable stoat, at least twice his size, is bearing down on a beloved friend’s offspring?? Why rush towards of course, fiercely I might add, waving ones paws and squeaking furry murder!

Well my fragrant young sweet peas, if ever you’ve seen such a spectacle you’ll agree that it didn’t have the desired effect at all. Thank heavens for Bouncy Joe, it was at that very moment he appeared from beneath a hedge with a catapult and a cache of baby carrots. With a rapid quick fire flurry the air was thick with orange missiles, and in the blink of a beady peeper Master Stoat was buried under a pile of tasty tubers… a feast fit for a hungry horse!

Once we’d dug him out and dressed him down he slunk off into the undergrowth with his magnificent tail between his legs. And yours truly filled every available pocket with treats for one lucky bronco…

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Tally ho dear ones!

Well now, young Peas got a right royal surprise when he came down for his cheese on toast this morning… there, next to the toaster, was a nose bag chock full of oats.

“Boil in the bag porridge for breakfast this morning LM…?” He pondered.

“Neigh!” Replies I, “It’s for Marmaduke!”

“Maramawhoke…?”

Peas gave me a quizzical look, understandably so. Last night we were a horse free household, this morning we were proud to have expanded our family by one new equine member. I snatched said oaty sack, wheeled around on the spot, and marched a perplexed Peas outside.

“Peas Marmaduke, Marmaduke Peas!” I beamed.

My introduction hung in the air. Peas looked at Marmaduke. Marmaduke looked at Peas. ‘Oh dear’, one thought, ‘perhaps one ought to have consulted Peas before inviting our good steed in question into one’s home…?’

But as it transpired my momentary doubt existed only within the confines of my ponderous noggin. Peas was merely speechless and, in fact, was positively over the moon! This was a childhood dream come true for our dearest pal, he’d been harbouring a hankering for a horsey playmate since he was 8 years old. Had I known, I’d like to think I’d’ve begun my search for a Marmaduke sooner. But only since relocating to Sticksville had the ole HD struggled with such rugged terrain, compelling yours truly to seek the wisdom of Bouncey Joe on a rural alternative. In the blink of a beady peeper, and the shake of a cotton tail, he gnawed a London phone number into a wild carrot before disappearing down a hole.

For donkeys years Maramduke had been in the service of HRH (Her Rodent Highness) Queen Elizamouse II, reigning her realm from behind a gilded skirting board at Buckingham Palace. He’d been dreaming of a countrified retirement, and as the universe has a canny habit of conspiring for our greater good, my call arrived at just the right time. Serendipitously Maramduke and I were able to assist one another achieve our hearts desires.

Fast forward teary goodbyes with regal Corgis to this very morning itself, mist tickling our ears as Maramduke, post oats, treated Peas and I to our first happy canter of many to come…

LilMousePeasHorse

Ace of Spades

March 28, 2014

Chop chop chaps and chapesses!

Do keep up wont you?

So there I was, up to my tail in chalky excavations, as the misty morn dawned upon the yawning village below. I’ll wager yours truly was up and half way into the depths of the downs before you’d even made it up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire!

I beg your pudding? Oh! Why oh why you cry? Bouncy Joe had paid a visit at a quarter to dusk. His darling doe Babette was nursing a fresh litter of kits, therefore the addition of another wing to the warren was required as a matter of utmost urgency. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I pledged to help Bouncy Joe in the extension of his humble burrow. Although I’m loathed to admit it, my little cherubs, I was struggling to see how I could possibly assist this favoured aforementioned family of bunnikins, my mining prowess being somewhat below par when compared.

“Bouncy dear heart” I began, “you do realise us mice aren’t nearly such talented colliers as our leporine cousins…” Cutting me off mid lament, he threw me a spade, a wink, and a “meet me at moon rise” over one shoulder as his bobbing cotton tail retreated into the distance.

And thusforth one finds oneself out of puff but full of pride this very morning while some still languish, after a full 8 hours, up to their greedy peepers in bacon butties! To those lucky toads I doff my cap, and can only hope that dear old Peas is cooking up a Croque Madame (sans oeuf) and a warm glass of milk as we speak…

 

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Tick tock poppets!

How the dickens are we this bright sunshiny day? And what a difference a day makes darlings! There I was just yesterday battling wind and rain to take a closer look at my local neighbourhood giant – The Long Man. Yes, the tweeds held up terribly well in all that weather (I could hear you wondering…) by virtue of a magical attribute of the sheep, wool, and it’s wondrous water repelling properties. Thanks for the gift woolly ones!

But I digress. He wasn’t always a Long Man you know. Oh no. You see, there was a time before the invention of man when mice ran wild and free among these rolling vistas, with the wind in their tails. And our gargantuan friend here was none other than The Long Mouse of Wilmington! With a light dusting of snow ‘pon a winter’s morn one can detect a pair of round ears above, and a snaking tail behind, ever so slightly debossed in the fresh white frosting. Protest ye not! Just pop a jam sandwich and a flask o’ tea in the ole knapsack the next time the clouds look laden with flakes, and come and see for yourselves with your very own peepers.

How He got there is much simpler than one might ponder. When dinosaurs roamed the earth my ancestors were at least as large as they. It goes without saying that there too were much smaller subjects, the worker mice if you will, who were roughly the size of a modern day cow. But the Kings and Queens towered over 200 feet tall, no less! Our friend The Long Mouse was the last of the regal breed Rodentula Ginormicus to fall in a bloody battle over ownership of the moon (due to it’s extraordinarily high cheese content) which, if on tiptoes atop Wilmington’s Windover Hill just behind me, He could pluck from the very sky itself for a nibble on a clear night. The workers mournfully buried Him where He lay, thusly leaving an indentation of His silhouette. The mystery of the whole grizzly episode is that nobody knew who had defeated The Last King on that fateful cloudless night, without even pocketing their lunar prize, needless to say.

From thenceforth, year on year, His silhouette was marked with a white outline as part of the crime scene, the case remaining unsolved. Until the war, that is, when white paint was rationed, omitting ears and tail to save on supplies. And so the legend of The Long Mouse was lost in the mists of recent history…

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The Mouse’s New Clothes

February 24, 2014

Cocka-doodle-doo darlings!

Fear ye not, unlike the fabled delusional Emperor I’m not in my birthday suit, I really have got new clothes. Yes, I visited the village gentlemouse’s outfitters, who could barely contain their mirth when I rolled up on the good ole HD clad head to paw in white leather flares suit, complete with silver lightening bolts up each leg. “Great Scott!” they exclaimed. I doubt they’d ever seen the likes of a stunt rider rodent dressed like a mini Knievel around these parts before.

The proprietor, a rather dapper glossy black rat in an elegant three piece pinstripe and bowler, had a moustache trimmed and waxed within an inch of it’s life. Coiffed handlebar jiggling as he twitched his nose this way and that, he peered at me over his half moon glasses as if I were a rather interesting specimen. His assistant, a portly field mouse, cut a country dash in a rich tweed the colour of freshly tilled earth. The pair set about me with tape measure and notebook, ratty scribbling like fury, field mouse surprisingly nimble with his measure, flitting from underarm to inner leg in a jiffy of a lamb’s tail.

And I have to say I was rather taken with field mouse’s earthy attire, shying away from ratty’s city slick silhouette, as fine as it was. No no dear ones, if I’m going to be a country mouse, then a country mouse I shall be!

So after hours of being draped in swatches of many a hue, yours truly opted for trousers in a wide checked tweed the colour of a fallow field in mid winter, a deep gauze leaf green herringbone waistcoat, and preferring the freedom it affords, a downland grass green mid-length cape with a lustrous aubergine silken lining. You can keep your Emperor’s invisible apparel, these are accoutrements fit for a Country King!

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Town Mouse Country Mouse

January 24, 2014

Darlings! How on earth the devil? You’ll be forgiven for thinking “long time no see Little Mouse, where hast thou beenst all these many months?” Well clog your pretty heads with such ponderings no more because I am here to tell all!

I have been a-wandering little ones, far and wide, to the very corners of the County for a new mouse house, a humble home where I can hole up and observe my fellow creatures going about their shenanigans, as is their wont, and regale you with my beady eyed findings.

City life was no longer suiting yours truly, there were simply too many savage squirrels and pugnacious pigeons vying for space. Trying to get a moment’s peace among that cacophony was nigh on impossible, I tell you!

Of course the countryside can be cacophonous too, dear ones, but it’s of an entirely different nature. Barbaric bare knuckle kerbside bust-ups between ravenous urban foxes and brutish city seagulls over a half eaten shish are a far cry from the haunting bark of the rural fox floating upon a chill winter’s eve, or the throaty tones of the pheasant welcoming in a crisp morning. These are animals as nature intended, not driven to interspecies scraps over, well, scraps.

So, with a hankering for the wholesome I set off in search. And after all these aforementioned many months I have found myself here, nestling in the rolling belly of the Sussex downs, miniature Master of my new domain…

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This very morning while you slumbered soundly submerged in dreamy worlds, my sleepy bunnies, yours truly was up before the lark. As dawn cracked its neon pink yolk over peaks of fluffy white clouds, Peas and I traveled by badger back (thank you Barnabus Bodkin!) to Blackbrook wood to hear the rare melody of the Nightingale.

As good old Barnabus bounded along the desolate road we passed Colonel Crow solemnly posting sentry at the gates of the golf course, while Reynard rolled around in the rough performing his dewy ablutions. We joyously saluted Magnus and Magdalena Pie as they swooped on a rotting wood stack for a louse-y breakfast.

We leapt across the luscious threshold into a perfumed paradise thick with the rich aroma of waking Bluebells, yawning and stretching their leafy arms. “What do Bluebells sound like?” whispered Peas expectantly. She’d never seen them before. “Like the tinkling giggle of giddy little elves my dearest Peas” I replied, naturally.

Barnabus snuffled and shuffled ever deeper into the tangled undergrowth, Peas and I clinging to his fur for dear life lest we be snatched away by a mischievous bramble and used in a sacrificial abundance ceremony for a bountiful blackberry crop.

Oh but darlings! Imagine our relief when suddenly we broke out of our prickly prison and into the lush meadow, bathed in the fluoro glow of the rising sun, to an orchestral cacophony of birdsong – Blackbird with his R2D2 warble, Great Tit frantically squeaking a wheel, Magpie rattling matchbox maracas, Meadow Pippet shooting his ray gun, Rook on kazoo, and all the while Woodpecker kept time with a hammer drill while Nightingale’s sweet 4th dimensional solo fluttered upon the breeze. Treats for the soul dear hearts…

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