All creatures great and small

Trip Start Jul 19, 2009
Trip End Oct 25, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of France  , Aquitaine,
Monday, June 21, 2010

Just a quick line, nothing much to write about really. Except the weather.
The rain has stopped and there is a fair amount of sunshine, but it is still not warm. It reminds me of ski holidays but without the snow. We are down to the last of our logs, who could have thought we would be sitting crouched around the fire in the middle of June?

What else? I promised Mieke, I'd introduce her to the new lodger, a tatty African dormouse.
He, or she, is absolutely adorable. Let's say he. After the first shock, no, I am not one to scream at the sight of a little mouse, but it was so unexpected - I surprised the thing in the kitchen, where it was licking out the frying pan - both of us froze and just stared at each other.
Ah, he was a sorry sight, size of a rat, grey fur, big round eyes; his nostrils and eyes were crusty and inflamed, and he had a little stubby tail. I'd never seen anything like it, but surely he would be better off outside. When I tried to grab him, he panicked and jumped off the hob, his nails catching my skirt. He then fell to the floor and to my horror, Shep started to snap at it and rough it up with his big paw.
Poor, poor mouse. Fortunately he managed to escape through the crack between the oven and the fridge.

What a strange creature, though, and what was it? After some research it turned out to be a dormouse but its normally bushy tail, like a squirrel, says Wikipedia, was chopped off.
Of course you would like to know why, how did he lose his tail? Me too, I haven't a clue. But I also read these mice live in groups and ours is obviously alone. Maybe banished from his community because of his tail. He probably has lost his sense of balance, too. And impetigo is always very unsightly, I can understand them not putting up with that, I suppose.

Now followed some discussion, what to do? Not very hygienic, scruffy and infected, scuttling around the kitchen. But he kept appearing, and was really canny.If you don't make any unexpected moves, he won't mind you watching, whilst he busies himself with the dishes.
Soon special bits of food were left out for him at night.
It was very rewarding to see he had eaten something next morning,  though he could be rather finicky, I have never seen a kiwi eaten in quite the same way.
He became a dear friend, any plans to get rid of him were not brought up again.

I knew Mieke would love him too. Pictures were sent, stories told - she arrived Friday evening but the dormouse hasn't made an appearance since.
You might think he has kicked the bucket but he still eats the morsels laid out for him. Maybe he's not bothered to check the plates and pans anymore knowing dinner is served at bedtime.

To be honest, I am very disappointed.
Bernadette tells me she has a trap, one that won't harm him, we can catch him and set him free, but I am not sure he will be all right. Then again, we will be leaving in a week, what is going to happen then?

Anybody fancy a tailless dormouse as a pet? I'm putting up his picture so you can check him out. And maybe the infection is just a bad case of acne, he'll grow out of it, just don't feed him chocolate.

Anyone, please? S'il vous plait?

PS  At last, a wonderful day today - pity that mouse is a night creature, he could do with some vitamine D

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Rui on

the funny thing is that you will never found specific food to a mouse in the Pet Shops:-)

One thing, be carefull with Leptospirosis, because some mince transmit it.

see the link:

I'm happy knowing you are having fun


gakema on

get a cat, that will do the job! or bring this rodent to the s. p. a.(refuge for homeless animals), nice pictures +story
love to miekema,
and to you!!!

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