art, folklore, metaphysical art

Happy Mabon to Everyone! Autumn Equinox

Mabon, Autumnal Equinox

The Second Harvest


The days are noticeably shorter and there is a chill in the night air in the Northern hemisphere. Some of the trees are beginning to don their Autumn colours as we approach the dark season of the year.

Mabon is the second harvest festival of the year, occurring on the 21st or 22nd of September. The apple and grape harvests are celebrated. Vegetables, fruits and herbs are ready to be picked and preserved for the coming Winter.

A time for giving thanks! And also a time to evaluate the progress made on goals set earlier in the year. Did everything work out as planned?

Wishing everyone a fruitful harvest!


Autumn Oak 8in x 10in (20.32cm x 25.4cm)  Buy Now Button
Autumn Oak 11in x 14in(29.72cm x 41.91cm)
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All prints available in two sizes

cartoon art, gnomes, humour, short story

Eek! A Mouse! The Final Chapter

To catch up on the story:  Part 1 and Part 2  and Part 3

Eek!  A mouse!  The final chapter

I consulted with friends. The always-imaginative Sir Doubtpuppet came up with a rather creative solution. He suggested that I make a lady mouse decoy with blonde hair, lipstick, stilettos and mousecara-ed eyelashes to be placed next to a trap with a neon sign stating “Free Kisses for Handsome Mice Here”.

Another (more practical) friend said I must set conventional traps immediately or the mice would multiply in no time.  Visions of The Great Plague had me racing to the supermarket for mousetraps.  (I know the plague was caused by fleas on rats.  But the mere thought of rodent infestation had my imagination going wild!)plague doctor

Porthos remained at his post. Henri  frequently surveyed the house and checked the truffle tin muttering, “Méfiez-vous des souris voleuse! ”
(Beware of thieving mice.)

I preferred to use a catch and release trap.  But now that the mouse had become a gourmet-organic-tomato-eating connoisseur, it would be back.  So I was forced into buying the capture trap or be overrun.  I had experienced a serious six-week mouse invasion in the city due to the landlord’s mistake and it wasn’t pretty.

I baited the trap with Swiss cheese.  And nothing happened the first night.  What? Aldi’s Swiss cheese wasn’t gourmet enough?!

The next night as I’m watching TV,  I see something moving on the rug.  A mouse!  Then another one!  Cue the Benny Hill theme song!

The mice are running all over the parlour as I shout at them to leave and try to chase them into the kitchen to the trap. Then they begin chasing me around the house!

One hid momentarily in the shadow between the piano and the TV armoire; its eyes closed.  (“Ha! She can’t see me!”, it thought.)  (“So cute!”, I thought.)  I put more peppermint cottons around hoping they would go back outside.  This “Eek, a mouse!”/“Oh, they are so cute!” circus went on for 2 hours before I finally gave up and went to bed.

The next morning when I went into the kitchen nothing appeared disturbed but I noticed the trap indicated “mouse caught”.  I felt terrible and shed tears for the poor little thing.  Henri, Porthos and I said a few solemn  words before relegating the trap to the bin.  I truly hoped that the other mouse took the hint and left. I felt such remorse that one had gone to its demise.  But obviously I can’t have mice running amok through the house!

Later that day I go into the kitchen and there sits the other mouse in the middle of the floor!  Not the least bit afraid of me or Porthos. It runs all over the kitchen, under the oven, then into the front room.  Hides by the radiator and then it starts coming towards me at full speed!  Cue the Benny Hill theme song again!  I’m stamping my feet trying to scare it into leaving as I open the front door.  No, it does not go out. It disappears.

Only to reappear 10 minutes later when I’m sitting at the computer.  It runs over my foot!  And then under the computer armoire.  What’s really perplexing is that the mouse has no fear of careening through the house during the day!

So I dash into the kitchen to get the other trap and place it behind the armoire where I see the mouse is hiding.  Now one would think it would want the cheese.  No, it climbs over the trap!  And runs towards the kitchen with me in hot pursuit.  It disappears and then 5 minutes later it runs over my foot again as I’m sitting at the computer. Then it disappears under the fridge.  By this time I am completely distraught and leave the baited trap near the oven hoping that the mouse will vacate the premises of its own accord.

As it happens, the lure of cheese (albeit inexpensive cheese) was finally too great.  A few days later the mouse had its last supper.  Henri, Porthos and I bade it farewell.

Just to be clear, I’m still feeling a lot of remorse about the mice.  I hope this never happens again.

See The Gnome and I for more stories about Henri.  🙂

cartoon art, gnomes, humour, short story

Eek! A Mouse! Part 3

To catch up on the story:  Part 1 and Part 2

Eek! A mouse!  Part 3

The next day I confronted Henri about the truffles.

“C’était censé être une surprise.”  (They were to be a surprise.)
I glared at him with raised eyebrow.

“Have you tried them?” I asked.

Henri looked down at his boots and then gave me a sheepish smile.
“Je devais être sûr qu’ils étaient assez bons pour une reine”, he replied.
(I had to be sure they were good enough for a queen, Madame.)

At least he still remembered who was in charge here!  I couldn’t argue with that logic and we put the truffles in a mouse-proof tin.

Now what to do about the mouse?  For the record, living in the country I have had to morph into Spider-Annihilator, Gnat-Masher and Fly–Destroyer on several occasions. These invaders are sent on a one-way ocean cruise via the toilet without a moment’s hesitation.  (Ladybugs and moths are caught and released in the garden.)

The main problem is that I think of mice as the adorable creatures from the Beatrix Potter tales.
beatrix potter mice

I did not want to set a deadly mouse-trap.  I merely wanted the mouse to leave the premises.  I had read that cotton soaked in peppermint oil and cayenne pepper sprinkled on the floor were natural mouse repellents.  So I strategically placed cotton balls around the kitchen, bathroom and other parts of the house.  And I formulated the plan of storing the new basket of tomatoes in the oven at night; hoping this was a clever way to foil the mouse.  This plan worked beautifully for a few nights.

The fourth morning I discovered a big mess in the oven; half-eaten tomatoes strewn about and mouse poop on the sink!  The cute little mouse had turned into a voracious, pillaging, rampaging beast!  A veritable velociraptor in mouse clothing!

Now I was truly annoyed.  Henri saw my frustration and enlisted a friend to stand guard.

“Madame, Permettez-moi de presenter Porthos.  Il agira comme sentinelle.”
(Allow me to present Porthos.   He will act as sentry.)

“Ah, Porthos; as in the Les Trois Mouse-quetaires?”,  I enquired.
Much eye-rolling from Henri and Porthos.

Needless to say, Porthos gave me a fright in the middle of the night when I went into the kitchen for drink of water.  Which, of course, made Henri laugh and did nothing to scare the mouse.

A difficult decision needed to be made……………….