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Sport 38: Winter 2010

VII The Trap

page 186

VII The Trap

One day my parents-in-law visited.

They were Scots who wore their origins like tartan. Jock's rough hands held the enduring lines of years at the works while Agnes gripped the domestic kitty. Time with her felt heavier than the mortgage.

I was resourceful and educated. Neither of which was sufficient to unravel the silent text that was scrawling between us.

It was autumn, the time when the field mice visited our kitchen, seeking a softer world.

One evening as we settled around the hearth the trap I had set sprang. I rose to dispose of the catch but astonishingly the trap lay empty. I reset it only to witness a repeat performance.

The third time Jock set the trap. Minutes later it sprang again. He returned to the lounge with a mouse dangling by its tail between his finger and thumb.

'You don't need a BA to catch mice,' he said. Agnes glowed with secret knowledge.