SOMEONE has to put in a word for mice.
As a top study — generally preferable to bottom studies — revealed that rats were kind and generous, spare a thought for the less controversial mouse.
Rats have even been praised in this column in the past, and I'm happy to accept the recent bombshell news that they've been unfairly maligned.
Scientists at yon Chicago University found they were empathetic and helpful. Nothing like bankers at all.
The boffins found rats would assist each other, even at risk to themselves, and that they'd share food with their fellows and, all in all, were convivial sorts who liked nothing more than a bit of whiskery banter. But I still wouldn't want one in my house.
Well, that's a lie, even if there's a lot of truth in it. I wouldn't mind the house-trained ones that look like hamsters and come in various colours. To be fair, even the plain ones just seem like bigger versions of mice, and I've always had a wee moose in my life in recent years: solitary, harmless souls that see in me a kindred spirit.
The one in my last house used to scamper across my feet as I composed my wordulations. The current one lives beside the garden shed. I don't see him much but, the other day, along with a dunnock comfortably fluffed up in the branches of a shrub, he sat watching me do my exercises in the back garden. I think they find it amusing, particularly when my bottom blows a raspberry as I bend down. I'm sure I heard tittering.
As with human life, it's only when rodents have families that they become an anti-social nuisance. But, unless he's chewing through electric wires and burning down your house, one little mouse won't do much harm.
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