One of my lovely Labradors sometimes wants to go out in the middle of the night. It’s usually me who has to get up to let him out.
2.40 am saw this morning saw me traipsing about in the dark in my dressing gown that is in dire need of a wash. I didn’t put any lights on because lights-on mean playtime to this particular Lab.
I opened the back door and waited for him, shivering. It was bloody cold last night. I heard a rustle behind me in the utility room and looked round. There was a rat scurrying across the floor. I screeched, leapt outside and shut the back door, thus locking in the offending rodent. I stood there for about ten minutes wondering what to do. The landing light came on in the house next door and I saw the curtains twitch as I hid in the garden. Then I had a sudden thought. What if there are more rats lurking under the shed? Looking around I spotted a dark object about six feet away and whispered “fetch” to Zak, who thought I was mad. (When I checked this morning it turned out to be a furry pheasant soggy dog toy.)
I braced myself to go back into the utility room and shoved Zak in ahead of me. He stood there, tail thumping noisily on the washing machine. It was no good, I knew I had to put the light on. I sat on the worktop which is piled high with ironing that needs doing (needed to get my feet off the floor, see) and poked at the light switch with a feather duster. My heart was hammering as a large dead leaf sat majestically on the mat by the sink. Well – it did look a bit like a rat!