However, it seemed more important to clean out everything in the pantry, see what Russel has eaten, and give him fewer hidey-holes. Maybe we could then catch and release him (which would almost be like going fishing, which is a way many people spend the Aussie Day long weekend). Or at least there would be fewer food alternatives and this may make the bait more attractive.
So we found an old corflute public notification sign to put across the door of the pantry to block Russel's escape, and my Beloved passed stuff out to me, and I in turn placed it on any flat space that I could find. It's amazing how much stuff fits into a 1200 millimetre (4 foot) square pantry. And how much mess it creates in the kitchen and dining room.
After most of the stuff was out, we could see Russel running around the floor, looking for a better hiding place. There wasn't one. He was quite cute - a little brown critter with big dark eyes and a tiny twitching nose.
Russel - Faster than a speeding... digital camera. (You can see his tail to the right of the photo)
My Beloved got an ice cream container and was trying to scoop Russel up and put the lid on. He wasn't quick enough with the lid.
Then the little mouse found an excellent hiding place.
It was nice, and dark, and enclosed.
My Beloved wasn't too certain about having a mouse running up the inside of his work trousers, and was madly trying to shake Russel out; but because Russel was running up the trousers, not his leg (and my Beloved has slender, elegant racehorse legs that don't fill up the aforementioned trousers) my Beloved wasn't exactly certain where Russel was at any given time.
My man is brave. He was heard to say at one point, "I hope he doesn't bite," as he tried to shake the pesky rodent down, but in the end Russel's climb was terminated by the fact that my Beloved always wears a belt. There was no where else to go. My Beloved then realised that he'd accidently managed to capture the little mouse (albeit in a slightly unorthodox fashion), clapped a hand over his right buttock, moved the blockade with his free hand and headed outside to work on the 'release' part of proceedings.
I probably would have released Russel a little further away from our house, but for some reason my Beloved wasn't keen on being out in public view during this stage of operations (perhaps some of Russel's furtive behaviour had rubbed off on him). From our back verandah I saw Russel streak away to find somewhere to hide.
Now I just have to go and clean out all the shelves in the pantry, check all the grocery items for signs of mouse, and put them back. At least I know that the pantry needed some rearranging anyway and so will take this opportunity to do so.
And I know someone is going to comment, "How is that story in anyway related to the title?"
Well, I couldn't help but think that many people chose to go to the beach for Australia Day. Some men wear Budgie Smugglers (i.e. Speedos). My Beloved just chose to wear Mouse Smugglers instead.
What's the chance that this new fashion will take on for Australia Day?
... Approximately None!
Although maybe next year Russel might like to go to the beach.