I wander down the stairs, fully expecting Emma to greet me with her usual zesty, springy, sprightly charm.
Shane: Morning, my lovely.
Emma: There has been a death on the patio.
Shane: Heaven forefend! Mouse?
Emma: Mm, I think so. All gone but for a leg, a bit of blood and… an organ.
Shane: Ach, the organ of poppable squidge – possibly a stomach.
Shane: And how does Jim seem?
Emma: His usual dopey self…
Emma: …Not sure that he should claim the kill, though. Might have been one of the neighbouring cats. Would you get rid of the organ.
Shane: That wasn’t a question, was it?
Emma: Be a hero.
Shane: I’ll do it now.
Out on the patio, hearing the distant unfolding of a nearby school’s Fun Day (there’s no room for fun in the ordinary school day), I see the potential for some degree of home-based learning.
This is the umpteenth organic ‘sack’ that I’ve had to dispose of, and as the cat would sympathise, its texture I find most disturbing. There is a definite squashiness to it – though I’d never fully explored this.
Gathering up the organ on a small stick, I place it on a small wall and gently press the sharp point of the stick against it again. A moment later:
Emma: You ok?
Shane: Ahhhhh, that is as close to being sick as I’ve been in a long while.
Emma: (amused – note the loveless lack of concern) What’s wrong? What did you do?
Shane: I… I made two incisions into the organ –
Emma: (amused) You popped the sack of squidge?
Shane: It would seem so.
Emma: What happened?
Shane: Well, nothing after the first careful incision, but then, it popped after the second cut. Stuff that looked like a combination of humous and cream cheese oozed out, in the way that toothpaste slowly oozes out of those completely rubbish pump-action toothpaste dispensers.
Emma: Y’ know, much as you love Springwatch – and admire you for it we do, I don’t think you’re ready for this sort of thing just yet, eh.
Shane: What d’ y’ mean?
Emma: Well, Bill Oddie and Simon King and gorgeous Gordon Buchanan, they wouldn’t wretch at the contents of a small mousepart, would they?
Shane: Well, I don’t care about them. (thinks) I only care about Kate Humble. In fact, I think I love her.