On monday evening I lay in bed and listened to the drama enacted above my head by what I take to be rodents of some sort betwixt the ceiling and the roof.
Scene 1 A house in Kenya, the bedroom.
Mark (in bed): looks up in the darkness through the mosquito net toward the ceiling.
Rat: Move stage left. Scuffle.
Rat: Move stage right, Scuffle.
This goes on for some time until…
Mark: [sigh] gets up, puts on his boots and heads for the kitchen to make a midnight snack.
End of Scene I
Recipe: Mark’s Midnight Snack For Rodents
1 x Shell of an egg divided into two halves
1 x Tablespoon of oat flakes
1 x Teaspoon of Royco (the spice of Africa) a kind of stock powder useful for masking the taste of intestines and other non-meat animal products
A little Fuko-Kil
Mix the oat flakes and Royco with a little water and place in the egg shells to thicken. Mix in some Fuko-Kil. Remember to wash your hands after handling the poison.
Scene II The hallway in Mark’s house
Mark, dressed in Dr Seuss boxer shorts and his walking boots, takes two half-eggshells from the kitchen and places them on the floor next to a chair which he positioned under the hatch into the loft.
Exit Mark (to bathroom)
Enter Mark (from bathroom) carrying big wood-and-innertube-rubber squeegee
Mark puts the head of the squeejee against the loft flap and pushes it up to open the trapdoor. Then he picks the eggshell-poison-grenades and lobs them up into the roof space. Takes the squeejee again and manouvers the loft trapdoor back into place slightly faster than would be really effective.
Exit Mark (to bedroom)
End of Scene II
Scene III The bedroom.
Mark sleeps beneath his mosquito net while feint scratching sounds can be heard from above.
End of Scene III