Thursday, 29 October 2009

The Missing Crocus Bulbs

Yesterday, we took a trip out to buy some bulbs for Mum. She wants to fill her dingle - the little valley at the bottom of the farm drive - with crocuses. We bought 300 bulbs in mega packets, which should cover the dingle, ready for the spring.

I left them at Mum's on an old sofa that's been used in various capacities for the past 50 years. Mum tells me my Grandma bought it in 1957. It coverts to a sofa bed, so it has somehow avoided being thrown out, despite getting tattier every year. Anyway, it sits in the veranda and provides somewhere for the dog to lie when he comes in covered in mud.

So, this morning, Mum called me to say that she got up to find all 300 bulbs had gone. Just the packaging and crocus flakes were left. She had to go and buy some more before we could come and help put them in.

By the time we arrived at Mum's, she's bought another 300 bulbs, but we still couldn't work out what had happened to the previous 300. There was little evidence of the bulbs having been eaten. It looked like they had been stolen by something small and furry.

There was nowhere for a mouse to get in. The cat flap is locked. The mouse must be inside. We took the sofa apart. There, along the back of the top 'mattress' were two tell-tale holes. The whole thing rattled with the sound of falling bulbs when we shook it.

We took it outside and jiggled it and wriggled it and shook it and pummelled it. Crocuses kept falling out, along with mouse nesting and for some reason an empty snail shell. Eventually, we took a pair of scissors to it and chopped it up to get the rest out. We didn't find the mouse, but we did find most of our bulbs.

Now we have 600 to plant. That's going to take a while! The kids decided to write the name of Mum's farm in bulbs, so Mum pegged it out.

I took the remains of the mousy sofa mattress and gave it a decent cremation. Thankfully, they didn't do fire retardant in 1957.

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