Samuel Whiskers himself!

This entry is not for the faint hearted and serves to make me feel soooo guilty you would never believe. Today the documents came from the drain people telling us all about our drains, good for the house details if we ever move, but along with the details were the pictures of our nice, clean, well kept drains …. good old green cleaning! but I digress… the other picture included was of Samuel Whiskers himself, sitting boldly in the pipe, posing for the camera if you please and if you look at the snap, you will see exactly why I feel so guilty.

I swear he is smiling sweetly, ok the picture isn’t great but you can definitely see his little face quite clearly and he must be quite big because the pipe is four inches in diameter. So why do I feel guilty? I actually like the little creatures and even though they carry such disease and this one, bless him/ or her, has caused a lot of damage in my loo, since having seen its sweet little face, how can I wish it dead? It is one of those situations where the inevitable has to happen and I have to try and blank the thought out of my head. Now I have ‘met’  him I have a connection to him, one of God’s small creatures.

I think Beatrix Potter has much to answer for. My children had all the little books and every night at least one of them was read. I remember doing a lesson in the school I worked in on Samuel Whiskers. These little characters, captured so perfectly in a book, also captured my heart. When we lived in the country, we kept chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs among other things and rats were all around us along with all the other adorable creatures like hedgehogs, foxes, badgers, peacocks, owls. The rats grew to a great size if we neglected to keep them under control but I wasn’t a part of that. I remember one day, and I’m not sure if I have told this story before, but as I looked through the kitchen window my youngest daughter was sitting quietly in the garden, talking away to what I thought was an imaginary friend, until that is, I became curious and went to investigate. The conversation went something like this.

‘Who are you talking to?’….. ‘My friends’  … ‘Oh that’s nice, who are your friends, love?’ … ‘Come and see Mummy.’            I ventured over to have a look expecting to see little play people or something but no, there beside her were several… yes you guessed it, baby rats and she was stroking them and chatting away. Luckily I wasn’t afraid of them but my job now was to remove her from them without giving her a fear of small animals. So many thoughts went through my head… disease, germs, the mother, oh my God, where were the parents?! They would be so cross and protective. Calmly I picked her up at which the ratlings scattered back undeneath the shed from whence they came and luckily there seemed no sign of mummy rat.

I scrubbed her hands thoroughly, changed her clothes and gave her a bath. It took me a long time to explain that even baby rats and even if they are your friends, they still have germs. So you see my dilemma? Here in front of me is a little blurry picture of this little furry creature looking at me. What on earth do I do now? I think I am going to have to put the picture away and try and get the image out of my head, call my builder friend and ask about the disused pipe he lives in… No Silly, Samuel Whiskers, not my friend. Why do small creatures have to be so damn cute?!


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