Wood Farm has become 'rodent heaven' says Anne Marie

Hunts Post Farming Column by Anne-Marie Hamilton, of Wood Farm, Hail Weston

Hunts Post Farming Column by Anne-Marie Hamilton, of Wood Farm, Hail Weston - Credit: HUNTS POST

As I feared, Wood Farm has, indeed, become rodent heaven since our farm cat, Hippo died in July.

We had not fully appreciated quite how busy and effective she had been, even in extreme old age. Since then, rats and mice have made a take-over bid, and even our rodent control operator, is finding it hard to keep on top of the job.

Rob knows that I loathe all rodents, so when I told him that I could smell mice in the shed near the house, he admitted to catching a couple the previous week.

About half an hour later, I was standing just behind him, when I overheard him telling a friend that, in fact, he had caught 17 the previous week!

However, all that paled into insignificance, compared with the tragic story of what happened next.

Rob and I went to visit our elder son last month, and took him a load of wood. We had a terrible journey, going through a tornado on the A14 between Thrapston and Kettering, with three trees coming down across one lane, and the road covered deep in leaves and small branches across both carriageways.

However, that was as nothing compared with the journey home. Our son gave Rob some empty log bags from a previous visit and, because it was so windy, Rob put them in the back of my car.

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Bad move! When I got into the car, I told him that I could smell mice. ”Nonsense - It is just on the outside of the bags”...only it wasn’t!

To humour me, Rob put a mouse trap into the car the next day and, to his surprise and my horror, caught a mouse!

Panic set in, the car was cleaned to within an inch of its life, but the stench of mice persisted, and I remained unconvinced that it was safe to drive it, as I knew that a mouse encounter would almost inevitably end in a fearful accident.

For the next couple of weeks, the car sat, unloved outside the house, loaded with traps, until I finally plucked up sufficient courage to drive it, once again.

So, dearest Santa, if you are reading this, there is really only one thing that I truly want for Christmas this year – a really fierce cat!

A Merry Christmas to you all.