We found a rats nest and an ant-heap when we were tearing up the old allotment and all its bedsteads, pots, baskets, sacking, broken cold frames, rotten wood. A strong smell, urine and worse. A soaking stinking wire basket – yes an in-tray sort of basket, lined with bubble wrap, and newspaper – in an old cold frame. This had made a beautiful warm home for mr rat. This was right next to the ant-heap, which we broke into by accident – thousands of ants poured out onto Helen who had upset the ant-world. She had to go into the shed to take off clothing so that she could shake it out and stop them biting and crawling….
we put smoking stuff from the bonfire onto the ant-heap, but we were so disgusted by the rats nest we just made sure it was not a home any more and then left the stinking basket and stuff….the next day I put it into a rubbish bag, but I could not make myself put that in the car when Itook a pile of other rubbish to the dump.
So I woke up one morning during the week determined to go to the allotment and burn the whole horrible thing. Only fire would do to cleanse the allotment site and make it safe and friendly. I went with the determination and equipment of an arsonist, with firelighters and matches, put on the thickest gardening gloves, set what was left of the nest on some kindling and firelighter filled it with more combustible stuff – and set it alight. It was not for burning…..so soaked with rats piss, and hard packed with bubble wrap and newspapers in between what turned out to be two not one wire in-trays. I was determined it would burn. It was determined it would not. It seemed evil, malevolent. I put in more firelighters, more twigs…finally it burned. two wire trays left which seemed cleansed enough to go in the bin.
as I left the site, I saw a large rat slope out of and down the side of a bin at the entrance…and across the path just ten feet in front of me.
And now the allotment committee have alerted us all to the imminent poisoning of the rats by the council pest control man…arguments and questions…