And all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Because an unknown feline had struck again. Well, I say 'unknown', but we've got a pretty shrewd idea who was responsible for the dismembered mouse on the porch this morning. Call it an early Christmas present.
At least I managed to see this one in time. Not like the last shrew Little Miss left for us, which went 'crunch' when I stepped on it. Which isn't as fun as it sounds when you're not wearing anything on your feet. Except squashed shrew.
Still, I suppose we shouldn't complain, at least Grendel has thought to bring us a good haunch of mouse for our Christmas dinner. We'll have it roast to go with the beef. Mmm, beef and mouse: rodent and turf, our favourite.
With the exception of the meal, we're pretty much set for the festivities now. The presents are all made, wrapped and jammed in under the tree. There's enough booze in the drinks closet to keep a party of MPs going for about 15 minutes (which is a lot!), and come tomorrow we'll be drowning in a sea of sweeties, good food and fine wine. The cat will be out of her head on catnip, the horse will be confused and a bit daft. No change from a normal day for him then.
But if we don't see you before, make sure you have a good one, enjoy yourselves and each other (as long as you're all adults and take turns with the baby oil and turkey baster). We'll be thinking of you at Casa MacBride as we plough through 4 courses of hedonism. But if it's OK with you, we'll be thinking of you fully dressed so as not to put anyone off their sprouts.
To the Christmas Tree!
* Because let's face it: it wouldn't be Christmas without a picture of a mouse's rear half with all its innards poking out.