Letter of last week
Sir, In our old office in Bow Churchyard some years back, a guerilla war was waged against mouse infestation. As time went by, the traps and snares became ever more elaborate, and much thought was given to where the mice's lair might be and how best to entrap them.
One day I came to my desk and found an angry e-mail from our facilities manager. A mouse had been found, detected by a trail of evidence, in the drawers of my desk. I was accused of all forms of negligence. There was even some intimation that I was deliberately offering the mouse sanctuary. But in fact I had never noticed him as a fellow traveller on my corporate journey.
We dubbed him Keith and he was swiftly escorted out of the building in a Tupperware box for a happier life, somewhere off Bow Lane.
Keith showed considerable housekeeping initiative during his time with me, which I had failed to notice until his exposure. He used the lower compartment of the drawers for his toiletry and "upstairs", in the mezzanine drawer, he enjoyed fine dining, mainly on a large packet of wasabe peas that I'd never opened.
Keith's memory became an important part of our office folklore. For a number of days many pictures of cartoon mice were e-mailed to me, including a mouse hat with my face in it.
Our fine new office is rodent free but I still open the bottom drawer of my desk gingerly.
(FT 4 October)