A Grim Tail

I must warn my readers that if any of you have a gentle or squeamish nature then you may not wish to read on. This post contains a story of death and desecration, complete with photographs. I shall start you off with a pretty picture and then you can decide whether or not to read on or go and do something else more interesting.Photo of buttercup on lawn

A few evenings ago I happened upon one of my fellow rodents. A poor little mouse was lying dead on the path. I presumed one of the many local cats was responsible for mouse’s demise and had unceremoniously left the corpse when it had tired of it. Photo of dead mouse

Being curious as to what could make use of the demised mouse, I placed it on the garden in front of a camera trap. Looking through the footage the following day it was apparent that a magpie had snaffled the mortified mouse the moment my back was turned. This was no great surprise, we have a magpie family living in the garden and they are fond of carrion.

Where this tale turns a little strange occurred a few days later.  I finally decided to tackle the briar patch growing up through the gnarly lilac tree. This tree and accompanying brambles are wrapped around a broken piece of garden fence (maintenance is not a habit of the Ratz household). Having slashed and cut my way to the fence I noticed a lot of flies buzzing around a funny looking object. Closer inspection showed it to be the reposing rodent! It had been much mauled and then hung up on a protruding nail at the top of the fence, like a carcass on a butcher’s hook. I had uncovered the magpie’s larder and another example of corvids using tools. Clever birds.Photo of mouse nailed to fence

If this hasn’t sated your lust for tragic mouse tales you might like to read A Sad Tail here.

If you have had enough rodent based raconteuring you might like to read about the briar patch here.


5 thoughts on “A Grim Tail

  1. This is quite a detective story 🙂 While I always feel sorry for a poor dead little mouse, it is part of the life cycle. We have fiscal shrikes here in Cape Town. Nick-named the Butcher bird, they also impale their kill – on roadside fences etc

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