After an uncomfortable night, struggling to find any comfort in my bed, I had staggered downstairs for pain relief at 5.30.
The next thing I knew was my sister sitting down on the end of my bed, waking me from the best sleep of the night.
‘What’s up?’ I asked, thinking she didn’t feel well and wanted company.
‘I can hear scratching.’ She said, pointing to a footstool in the corner of the bedroom. ‘From there.’
I was never at my best or sharpest first thing in the morning, but I tried to look as though I cared. I did care, of course; it was just not within reach right then. ‘Are you sure it was coming from the footstool and not the wardrobe?’
My mind was slowly waking up, going through what needed to happen with this latest development. We have had mice before, so if there was a mouse in that footstool, I didn’t want to open it up here in the bedroom. My days of crawling around the house on my hands and knees, chasing rodents, were long gone. The alternative didn’t sound much better.
‘Of course, I’m sure. Are you going to have a look, Jaye, because I can’t.’ Now I was properly awake, I could see she was scared, her eyes round like saucers. This was not something I had seen before. My sister, scared? Surely not…
‘Yes, of course, I will look, but not up here. And not now, I need to pee and getting dressed might be a good idea. Go and put the kettle on, I’ll be there in a minute.’
While I was dressing, I remembered that there was a chimney behind the wall where the box sat. Sometimes birds dropped stuff, and we often heard noises all the way downstairs; maybe this was all the scratching was.
I listened, all my senses alert, for several minutes but heard nothing. My sister’s hearing is legendary. She can literally hear a pin drop on Mars; at least, that’s what it seems like most of the time. She often hears mysterious humming that no one else can, and it drives her mad.
I approached the footstool on tiptoes like a secret agent. It was actually a small box with a padded lid, very useful for storing things we might never need. I didn’t fancy carting it all the way downstairs, so decided to risk it. I had no idea what I would see when I opened the lid. Hopefully, nothing that ran about on four tiny legs!
It was a bit of an anticlimax when I saw my collection of carved wooden ornaments. A couple of dragons and a wooden ball within a ball. There was also my jigsaw owl, assembled by me many years ago. I inspected them all, hoping I wouldn’t find any giant woodworms or such.
I had wondered where they were hiding…
Enjoy your bank holiday weekend, everyone! XXX