Slua Hall Corner
Casa Mia and Morkan Tiles
An incident from the life of Mick O’Callaghan in Gorey
Mousey Post Box
I must say that I love going to the post-box because it is full of surprises and variety. It can present me with bills, birthday cards, appointments, and disappointments and quite often also a blank vacant box. This vacuous space contained within the 12x8x4 is a snug little space and keeps all our post dry and secure until we open it to collect mail.
Imagine my horror when on one morning lately I went out to collect the post and I saw the flap had been left open. I imagined that any post would be damp and sodden but instead of this I was confronted by the sight of several little mice staring up at me and being attended to by mother mouse. The flap had obviously been left open, and the pregnant Mrs Mouse had crept in to deliver her mischief of little mice into the world.
Little mice are my biggest fear, and I am totally allergic and panicked by them.
I was like stout Cortez when he stared with eagle eyes after he had discovered the Pacific.
I had been about to insert my hand, but discretion beat valour when I realised that my six. new tenants were not going to be evicted too easily or mother might not take too kindly to me disturbing herself and her mischief. They probably had some tenancy rights under some rare, outdated mouse protection act with no immediate eviction allowed.
Senior management was waiting for mail and called from on high to see if we had gotten any post that morning. I plucked up the courage to tell her that someone had left the flap open and that we had newly arrived tenants in the post box. She immediately shouted down that I could just hush out the spider and close the flap and then I gave her details about the mischief of newly arrived tenants.
Well, you never in all your days heard such eeing and ahing and get rid of them. I am constantly telling you that this could happen if you let a lid or door ajar. I plucked up enough courage to tell her that I had not collected the post the previous day, so the decibels were lowered, and a solution had to be found.
We thought about mouse poison but that was shelved. I suggested getting some traps and catching them but that was ruled out as they were too young. Then I had my Tom and Gerry moment when I suggested that we bring our cat Whiskers down and release them to her mercy, but I was reminded that some could escape into the garden.
Following that I thought about Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘The Early Purges”. He was six when he first saw kittens drown, Dan Taggart pitched them. It was about throwing kittens into a bucket of water as
“cruelty talk cuts no ice in towns
but on well run farms pests had to be kept down.”
That suggestion was quickly dowsed down on cruelty to mice grounds, and we were now getting desperate for a solution when I had my lightbulb moment with my environmental protection and sustainability hat on.
I suggested that we take down the post-box, seal it with tape and place it in a large, tied plastic bag, bring it out in the car to a large field remote from houses and release our newly acquired mischief of mice and let them take it from there which we did. We procured the necessary wide tape, a secure strong white, hole free plastic sack and we were ready for action.
Major subterfuge was required for this delicate transportation and evacuation sortie in north Wexford. We had to decide whether to do it under cover of darkness or in the evening.
We finally opted to depart at dusk. We pulled in at a gate into a huge field and operation mother mouse was quickly performed and the front-line mouse disposal troops were stood down. We brought bag and post box back home where it is now safely attached to the wall again with a suggestion that we spring load the flap.
Please don’t rat on me. It was only a mousey little job.
Mick O Callaghan
Enjoying Listowel Connection in Australia
Every now and again I will be approached by someone who recognises me and knows lots about me even though we have never met.
This happened in Listowel Garden Centre on Saturday October 21 2023. The man who recognised me is Jackie Leyne. Jackie reads Listowel Connection in his home in Australia. He left Listowel at age 18.
Lovely Sunday morning stroll with my weekend visitors
Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is the longest coastal driving route in the world.