John Pye Auctions Weekly Story – ‘Mouse Misery’

Surprises came in many forms during my working life – and sometimes in the shape of a small round furry creature with a terrible smell.

The occasion was a Monday morning at my Nottingham Cattle Market office when I arrived to find my female administrator crunching her face up and complaining about an awful stink. It was horrible as if something had died in there and been left. Well, you could hardly work because it was so bad, so we had to turn everything upside down.

It was a wooden building, so I went down on my hands and knees outside to check underneath, as we tipped up baskets, drawers and even the files in the filing cabinet. For two days this went on, getting better and then, mysteriously, getting worse again as another wave of stink passed through the air.

I couldn’t figure it out at all and it was embarrassing when anyone came through the door – you could see their face crease up and their hand cover their mouth and nose, as the smell hit them.

But then, at the end of the second day, my ever-resourceful aide, George, came to the rescue and suggested they take the drawers out of the filing cabinet.

Sure enough, along one of the runners was a mouse, squashed to death, where he had crawled in and got stuck some time before.

The waves of smell which had been hitting us had been caused by the runners passing over the little blighter’s body every time someone opened and closed that particular cabinet drawer.

Talk about kicking up a stink in the office – I’ve never smelled anything so bad – and from something so small.


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