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What were they?


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In renovating our house, my husband was ripping out an old ceiling under the grain loft when a pair of these peculiar creatures dropped to the floor and ran off.  He says they were bigger than mice, smaller than rats and appeared to be brownish with a black stripe, with possibly a fluffier tail (although after several tellings-of-the-tale these rodents were the size of cats!) .   The male also sunk its teeth into our friend's hand as he tried to move them out of the rubble so with their strange livery they were henceforth known as "Skunk Mice"!  Does anyone know what species they are?  The closest we came to identifying them was on a wildlife show where something vaguely similar was called a Clis-Clis but I thought these were south-american rather than French, or do we just have exotic rodents to look forward to in 61?
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Loir or Lerot - depends on colour, I think, but I believe that in English they are called edible doormice. There have been several threads on the forum on these animals - one quite recently.

We thought they were chipmonks too!

Our cats love them. I believe they are the animals that live inside our stone walls and it is they who take in all the corn and walnuts.

Somebody posted a recipe on here for them recently too, but I think you would need a few for a meal!

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Dick is right and they seem to have no fear of crawling on your bed in the middle of the night either.  The ones we encountered (at a vacation rental home) left lots of "mess."  They ate through the owners wine boxes (left them leaking) and plundered all over the house - the evidence was there to prove it. 

 

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I have not found any of these beasties in the house since they attacked our friend, however up in the old grain loft we have occasionally heard them charging about in the rafters.    Mind you,  the first night we spent in the house back in June we awoke in the morning to see a puddle on the floor, tracing it back under the bed to see a massive toad giving us the evil-eye for disturbing his snooze.   Said sleepy toad then widdled all over my husband's hand as he tried to pick him up to oust him from the house!   Having found this cheeky lodger we have since fitted a new front door that does not have enough space for obese toads to cram themselves under, but I still find myself checking under the bed just in case he has sneaked back indoors again.  The joys of country living eh?!
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