05 Jul 2022

’Twas a night before Christmas...

This Kilkenny Life

The next morning I foolishly told the missus about our visitor who I christened - what else - Noel!

‘Twas a night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring – except for a mouse.
And moi. Although I wasn’t stirring, I was sitting at my PC, quiet as a mouse, courting the Muse (for all the good it did me) when this little creature poked his head out from beneath the dish-washer.
Came in through a vent I presumed. At least I hoped so – hate to think he had taken up lodgings in there, had settled down with a family and was going to claim squatter’s rights!
He, or she, didn’t see or hear me. And obviously this little mouse knew the Safe Cross Code as it looked left, looked right, looked left again before scampering across the kitchen floor. Towards the cereal cupboard!
The cereal cupboard! If it goes in there I am going to scream – scream blue murder.
The thought of munching muesli laced with mouse droppings would make a vampire scream. This mouse knows the run of my house, I’m thinking, as he sniffed around the cupboard which thankfully proved impenetrable. It then scampered lithely down to the breakfast table, good foraging territory also, for bits of breakfast detritus.
No luck. And off he scampered towards the back door never to be seen again. For that night!
The next morning I foolishly told the missus about our visitor who I christened - what else - Noel!
“Get a mouse trap,” she ordered. (You know women and mice) “Why?” said I (the silliest question I ever asked my wife.) “I cannot bear the thought of having a mouse in my house, in my kitchen, in my bedroom. Oh, God. Get a mouse trap, Gerry. Please.”
“But he’s so cute. I’m actually fond of him; maybe we could cultivate him as a pet. I never had a pet mouse, or hamster, when I was growing up.”
I never did get that mouse trap. And here’s why. The following night I sat by my PC, still as a mouse, waiting for wee Noel to peek his little head out from beneath the dish-washer. It didn’t happen.
What did happen, however, is that some nights later as I lugged rubbish out to the bin I was confronted by a most awful, a most terrible scene, a potential murder scene – our feral cat, and Noel, the two of them staring at each other, the cat ready to pounce, poor Noel paralysed with fear.
That’s when I screamed - scarifying cat and mouse both of whom scampered off, at the speed of light, into the night, the mouse never to return (if he had any sense).
And so, this Christmas, I feel have done my good deed. Apart from a few bob to the SVP and Simon - I saved the life of a mouse. And rid our house of a mouse.
My good missus sleeps easy in her bed thinking that Noel is dead. But you and I, dear readers, know otherwise – Noel is out there.
Somewhere. God knows where. He’s just not in our house.
I hope.
An email from S Claus to G Moran
Dear Gerry, regarding your recent email, the answer to your question: ‘Santa, is it too late to be good?’ is, it isn’t. Gerry, it’s never too late. The issue, of course, is not about being late but being ‘good’?
And Gerry, you haven’t been good a day in your life. And why? Because you’re human. Like the rest of us. And full of faults.
So, I wouldn’t sweat the ‘being good’ stuff - I don’t. And as for me finding out who’s been ‘naughty or nice’ I have better things to be doing than prying on people, not least kids (very unsavoury, creepy actually) Besides, a person couldn’t be bad these days what with Covid hovering around every corner.
And regarding that request of yours: ‘All I want for Christmas, Santa, is peace and happiness.’ Will you get a grip, Gerry. I’m a toy-delivery guy (all be it a glorified one) not a miracle-worker. You want peace and happiness - create it yourself.
In the meantime, be happy with the after-shave and silly socks. Oh, and if you’re really good (only kidding) you may get a wee jab in the arm sometime in the New Year. Free of charge!
Yours, Santa.
Finally, may I, Gerry the Human, wish you all peace and happiness, and good health, this Christmas like no other.

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