Hold the call to the RSPCA. For the moment I'm fine. I'm neither guinea pig goulash nor cavy curry. Keep their number handy though, just in case.
Boy did we have some excitement last night! For the last couple of evenings while Pea, Chook and I have been sitting watching telly there have been strange rattling noises coming from the exhaust above the cook top. The general consensus was that an antechinus had managed to get down the flue from the attic - not for the first time . Now I had no idea what an antechinus was, but it sounded ominously like a bat. Apparently it is a type of carnivorous marsupial mouse. Then last night Pea and Chook were sitting in front of the TV watching the tennis. (What a pointless game that is! If the men with the guitar shaped things are so anxious to be rid of the ball why don't they just give it to the nice man sitting in the kids high chair to dispose of in an environmentally friendly fashion instead of just whacking it to each other. Very childish!) I was having a bit of a snooze, I had just finished my dinner and was feeling very relaxed and mellow when suddenly Pea yelled "There he goes! It is an antechinus." I woke up just in time to see a little brown thing hopping incredibly quickly like a tiny kangaroo into the bathroom hotly pursued by Pea and Chook who both reached the door frame together with the resulting congestion. "This is going to be better than a Laurel and Hardy movie." I thought to myself.
Pea grabbed an empty ice cream container and Chook managed to trap the vicious brute in the shower cubical. I helped by sitting on top of my little red shelter squealing like a girl. Oh well, there goes another New Year's resolution. Now the bathroom door was shut and I could only hear voices from within.
"Quick grab it!"
"You grab it."
"I did, but I didn't want to squash it so I let it go."
'Well that was stupid.
"What if it bites?'
"Your tetanus shot's up to date isn't it? What's the problem?"
There was a muffled yell from the bathroom and the little brown thing hopped through the gap between the floor and the bottom of the door.
"Duck, duck duck duck duck! The ducking thing has ducked off under the ducking door" it sounded like Pea was saying. My God! I thought, the bathroom is full of waterfowl. The door was flung open and once more Pea and Chook reached it together and after a moment's strain popped through together in pursuit, Pea somewhat flushed and brandishing his ice cream container and Chook frantically waving a piece of stiff cardboard. They both disappeared in the direction of the dining room where there seemed to be another flock of waterfowl from what I could hear of the conversation.
Ten minutes later they returned defeated - the ice cream container remained empty. They sat down to watch the tennis again. "It could be anywhere now." Said Chook. Minutes passed, the men on the telly with the guitars were still unable to dispose of the ball. Then suddenly Pea piped up. "What if it's in the bedroom? I don't want to wake up at two in the morning with an antechinus on my face. Do you?" With that he leapt to his feet and dashed of towards the bedroom with his ice cream carton. Moments later he returned, a look triumph on his face.
"He was there," he said to Chook. "On the bed, on your pillow, washing his face. I snuck around the back of him, opened the screen door and then rushed at him. He jumped off the bed and out of the door - problem solved." I could see how that tactic would work. I'd have leapt out of the door too if I'd seen that great ape charging towards me with a food container.
The whole thing reminded me of another laurel and hardy-esque incident when Pea and Chook had found a small brown snake in the house. In an almost perfect display of well practised teamwork Pea opened the screen door and Chook flicked the snake towards it with a long stick. Unfortunately Pea had not vacated the open door. He was standing there like a Premier League goalkeeper between the posts, except that he was dressed only in his underpants. The snake hit him in the groin and fell to the floor, sadly for entertainments sake, without biting him. Presumably it was too shocked by it's sudden and unexpected capacity for flight, albeit somewhat uncontrolled. I laughed so hard that I fell of my little red shelter. Who needs stupid tennis for entertainment.