Nothing of note to report from the battlefield of "No Dogs' Land". There have been advances, withdrawals and temporary truces on both sides - but nothing to mark any significant progress on either side.
The battle-lines have long been drawn at my former dwelling, my partner's parents' house, between Gisèle and a doughty rodent whom we shall name "Rockery Mouse".
For most of last summer, Gisèle would painstakingly dismantle the small rockery in the garden, stone by stone, in pursuit of a mouse of sorts whose presence in the vicinity was really rather obvious. Failing success in that part of his haunt, she continued to stalk him behind the garden tool-store, at the back of the seedling shelves and below some spare paving slabs. She - occasionally accompanied by a completely indifferent Betty - succeeded in smoking-out a large and grumpy toad, who wasted no time in telling her to go away, but drew a blank wherever the wily mouse was concerned.
I had better fortune in seeing the mouse - my limited presence being less alarming to nervous creatures. I have to bark that his appearance was somewhat unusual, being something more than a mouse yet something less than a rat. I recalled the occasion some years ago when an odd specimen literally dropped from the sky into my garden - Here - and wondered if sweet 'Sèle's present nemesis could be one of his descendants. Well, I bark, one of his descendants - for there are now several. The lone mouse that has haunted the garden for at least a year has become several. He must have acquired himself a mate and the inevitable babes that fruit from such an union.
The presence of a number of mice has seemingly been confirmed by Gisèle's recent antics in tearing up not only the rockery but also two of my partner's parents' garden borders and a carefully-planted large flower tub. Gisèle was NOT popular when the aftermath of her industry was discovered - to the extent that a large section of the garden has been fenced-off to prevent her access with no less than TWO sections of fencing. Thwarted again! But those who know Gisèle may appreciate that she will not be thwarted for long.
"I's calling in professional help." she grumbled, as her soil and compost-covered self was hauled away in disgrace by my partner.
"Oh yes?" I responded, one eyebrow quizzically raised, wondering who she could have in mind. Betty was sufficiently indifferent to the mouse issue as to rule out any application for her assistance.
"Yes." replied Giz. "I need advice from a professional. I's not letting this go."
"No! I'm going to get advice. I's not losing this, not after all this time has happened."
"Who are you going to ask, Gizzy?"
"The best in the business, of course!" she declared. "I am going to get from the very, very best. From Peaches."
Forgive my sceptical fatalism - but this is unlikely to end well.