I saw a mouse!
There on the stair!
Where on the stair?
A little mouse with clogs on
Well I declare
Going clip clippety clop on the stair!
A Windmill in Old Amsterdam, Ronnie Hilton
That’s the chorus from Ronnie Hilton’s 1960s novelty hit. The song was written by the English Songwriters Ted Dicks and Myles Rudge, apparently there are Dutch and Canadian versions too.
I loved that song as a child and remember listening to it on children’s TV.
There’s a YouTube video embedded lower down the page, it’s giving me hours of listening pleasure – I hope you all enjoy it too.
An Unfortunate Encounter (the perils of living in a Victorian terrace.)
So what prompted me to make this post and the painting? Was it just a desire to share that delightful song from my childhood? No, unfortunately there’s a bit more to it than that.
I had a terrible fright one Wednesday night last October on my way to bed. As I stumbled along in the dim corridor light I saw something moving up the middle of the stairs above me, I froze in terror for a second and then rushed back a few paces.
It was a mouse …
Do Mice Run Up Stairs? (I hope not)
After a few minutes cowering in the corridor I asked myself if a little mouse would really scramble up over the middle of each tread.
It would run up along the skirting board or bannister instead, surely?
Just My Imagination (a convincing theory)
Well, I had just switched off the lights in the living room and, because I have to get close to one of the lamps, might have had an after-image still in my eyes. I’m terrified of rodents, and shadowy shapes and wood grain patterns often turn into mice.
Yes, that was it, just my imagination!
Anyway it was late and tiredness took the edge off my fears as I ventured up the stairs. Happily there was nothing more to see and I had pleasant enough dreams that night.
Addendum: Apparently rodents can’t stand the smell of peppermint essential oils. So, not wanting to risk another encounter on the stairs, I went out first thing the next morning and bought a bottle of the stuff.
There are posters and other products printed with the little mouse in clogs too.