Natural wonders – with Jacob Binatone

Once the plaything of the Victorians, the Radar Mouse – Biffordshire’s acoustically over-endowed small mammal – had one of the most obscure of all the roads towards endangerment.

Initially, they thrilled our ancestors with the discovery that, by forcing air through the mouse, a tune could be played. However, after the inventing of the mechanical mouse pipe, the fad of blowing small mammals quickly died out.


A rare Radar Mouse – residing in a sound-proof booth

Looking like a cross between a common mouse and the ear trumpet used by Madame Fanny in the BBC comedy, Allo Allo!, the Radar Mouse had long cut a curious dash amongst the woodlands of our fair shire.

The few that remain live a life typical to a common mouse but have evolved a curious survival technique. When threatened, they can reverse their talents and emit a loud noise similar to a Chinook gaining altitude. This shocks the approaching predator into thinking that they are about to be sucked into a whirling vortex of rotor blades, giving the mouse ample time to beat a hasty retreat.

Common belief holds that the decline of the Radar Mouse was due to an epidemic of Pirate Radio stations that cropped up in Biffordshire in the early 90’s. The Mouse, with its complicated attenuation was thought to have been able to pick up these off-piste shows over 30 miles away from their source.

Driven mad by the harmonics of Drum ‘n Bass ruff cuts, over 90 per cent of this native species were lost when a stampeding pack of Radar Mice threw themselves in to Buttercludge gorge.

Frank Leyspeaking, president of the Biffordshire Association of Failed Creatures, recalls the scene…

“It were horrible I tell you. They were cuing up to jump!

“It fair makes me shiver to think of those poor little mites, falling to their demise with nothing but the soundtrack of ‘Bump up da eeezee rider caaaaammmm down!!!’ playing in their little heads.

“All those tiny bodies…… Still, I had me wife knock up this lovely set of gloves with the remains. Look! She even kept their little noses on!”

Chilling stuff.

Happily, the Radar Mouse is a creature very much on the bounce. Since the culling of the Pirate DJs back in 2010, the remaining mouse population (believed to have survived by corking their ear trumpets) has been on the rise with sightings cropping up regularly across Biffordshire.

We can only hope that the happy parping of these tiny creatures continues to become more common-place.

Poetry corner

A gravy boat

Captions are hard sometimes OK?

Minstrel holes – by Bobby Biddy

Scant were the words of Geraldine’s mouse,
That lived out days in Minstrel holes
Gravid once was her lived in spouse
Played once for Barnsley and scored no goals

Gravy boats danced,
Gravy boats spurned,
Gravy boat cocked her a snoot,
Gravy boats turned
Gravy boats jumped
Gravy boats pillaged for loot

She glanced at frost ‘cross the Lillo,
Formed where once there were fields,
Reminisced while she peered through the shadow,
And thought ‘pon her days as a shield

Gravy boats danced,
Gravy boats spurned,
Gravy boat formed coalitions,
Gravy boats turned
Gravy boats jumped
Gravy boats on special missions

Her faded Formica told a few tales,
Of life on the open road and bathroom glue,
And nant it did bimp flont gibbousy nails
And bibidy bobbidy boo

Gravy boats danced,
Gravy boats spurned,
Gravy boat bounced around Clapham,
Gravy boats turned
Gravy boats jumped
Gravy boats talked to the tax man

Si! Eees Pastamouse and l’equipaggio facile folks!

Pastamouse – he maka a badda ting gooda

Give-a it up, give-a it up, give-a it up for l’equipaggio facile! Si… Monkeybroth is underwhelmed to announce the first very episode of Pastmouse – Italy’s foremost problem-solving and crime-busting rodent! He’s sure to maka a badda tinga gooda!

This week sees Pastamouse tackle the mystery of the disappearing parmesan cheese….

Pastamouse: “Heeeyyy, whatsa up l’equipaggio facile – eesa everyathinga alrighta?”

Zoomerini: “Non, Pastamouse, everything ees not alrighta…President Mozarella hasa been on de radio transisterone – the entire stocka of Italia’s parmigiano hasa been robbed by some badda de burglia…”

Pastamouse: “Non – saya it ees nota truea…the entire stocka of Italia’s parmigiano hasa been robbed by some badda de burglia you say?”

Zoomerini: “Si, Pastamouse”

Scratcherone: “Pastamouse… cana we makea da badda tinga gooda?”

Pastamouse: “Si, Scratcherone, we canna maka da badda tinga gooda – l’equpaggio facile!”

Zoomerini and Scratherone: “Si, Pastamouse?”

Pastamouse: “Getta your skateyboardas and those wheely/roller de blade things ready. We are gonna to finda de parmigiano and I hava an idea wherea we shoulda look firsta!”

Meanwhile in another part of town…

Bagga-Telli: “Heeeyyy Bandulula il cuoco, howa coma you hava so mucha de parmigiano in youra stora rooma?”

Bandulua il cuoco: “Heeeyyy Bagga-Telli donta worry, I boughta it alla cheapo cheapo from dat nice mousa wearing that stripea jumper and maska yesterdaya…I gonna maka loadsa de pasta and de pizza with it and maka many many of de euros…”

Suddenly l’equipaggio facile screech out from behind some bushes…

Pastamouse: “Hah…bandulua il cuoco! We hearda that from behinda da bushes over therea, Non nota therea……….over therea…si behind that dumpa trucka…anyway youa hava dona a badda ting. We herea to maka dat badda ting gooda…you should notta hava boughta de parmigiano froma data bada mousea…de orphana bambini have noa cheese – de parmigiano belonga to Italia!”

Bandulua il cuoco: “Oh Pastamouse I’m a soa sorry – herea… taka de parmigianna back to President Mozzarella…”

Pastamouse: “Are you sorrya for watta youa dona?”

Bandulua il cuoco: “Si Pastamouse… very….”

Pastamouse: “Wella everythinga okaya nowa, correcto I’equipaaggio facile?”

Zoomerini and Scratcherone: “Correcto Pastamouse!”

More pasta orientated, Mediterranean rodent crime-fighting, weak rip off of a fine kids’ TV show fun next week folks… or we might do asthma mouse. Provided we don’t get shut down by the BBC that is.