The Pest Control man had a comprehensive knowledge of the behaviour of rodents and a strong desire to share it.
‘It’ll know your routine inside out. It’ll know when you’ve been to the supermarket. It’ll know when you go to bed.’
He continued in the same vein and built a picture of rodents as miniature Stasi operatives. He also seemed pleased that our home had been penetrated by one of the little beasts. He scouted around the building, pointing out glaring gaps in our defences.
‘That’ll be it, there,’ he said with not a little triumph, as he pointed at the gap under our garage door.
‘They could walk right through that gap man – not even have to duck.’
He had an apprentice with him – an enthralled young note-taker. The pair crossed the road. I stood in the bay window and watched as the senior of the two pointed over the hedge at the river and guffawed. He then traced the route he imagined our visitor took straight up the drive and straight through the irresistible large gap under the garage door.