The Mongoose just sniffled; the shortage of snakes
in this country was certain to lead to mistakes,
and she felt it was easiest just to eat lots
of the produce the owners had left in their plots.
There were old wild potatoes, some lettuce, and beans,
and some onions along with the rest of the greens
they had left. Had they simply departed in haste,
or instead, why’d they grow what was not to their taste?
A knock at the door brought her out of her trance;
she had pondered the sowing of various plants
for the tasty and sumptuous cooking of food
for herself. Badger’s tastes were incredibly crude.
She looked at the door, and for reasons her own
she did not yet desire for her name to be known;
so she peeped through the letterbox, raised on her paws,
and a little brown letter fell into her jaws.
“Doof yoof mindf!” she exclaimed, as she spat the thing out,
then regretted her actions; the man turned about
and looked right through the box at her sharp little teeth,
then began to explain to the creature beneath
that a neighbour reported this house was infested.
“We’ll clean it up neatly!” the Mongoose protested.
“A badger has kindly agreed to assist
since I haven’t the strength in the arm or the wrist
for the heaviest jobs. I can sew very neatly;
I’d be more polite if you asked me more sweetly,
instead of propelling this junk through my door;
please and thank you’s in order, you scoundrel, what’s more!”
“A badger,” he sniffed. The young man wore a jacket
on which “Sanitation” was written in black; it
went well with his trousers, thick boots, and long beard;
and from his point of view, it was her that was weird.
“Well, that’s infestation,” he mumbled. “Unfair!”
snapped the Mongoose. “He hasn’t a home anywhere,
and I’ve taken him in to work hard on the place.”
“Full of squatters - it's clearly a serious case!
Well, I’m sorry, but all that you’ve said is illegal.
A cat is allowed, or a rabbit, a beagle,
a budgie that’s fit to be kept by a child -
but no-one’s allowed to keep beasts that are wild.”
“Look here!” said the Mongoose. “I’m quite well connected;
I know that we aren’t really what you expected,
but finders are keepers! And since no one cares,
we’re making improvements, both down and upstairs.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, “I don’t make all the rules;
I know that to many the Council seem fools,
but the law is the law, and you’ll have to move out,
else you’ll soon be evicted, I haven’t a doubt.
What other wild creatures are here? Were they trapped?”
“Well, I’m getting more wild by the minute,” she snapped,
“I’m a Mongoose, and surely you know we’re the best
for ridding a house of such snakes as infest.”
“Infested with Mongeese,” he whistled. “That’s that!”
“You said what!” screamed the Mongoose. “I’m no sort of rat,
I’m a Princess from India; though you’re naïve,
you should ask my permission before you can leave!”
He set off through the gate, though he left it ajar,
and went off in a smart little signwritten car.
“The Department of Health” so it said; but it smoked
such a lot when it started, the Mongoose near choked.
“Bloody Dalits,” she grumbled. “We’ll soon see to that.”
So she went to the Badger. A heart to heart chat
was required to work out what on earth they should do -
for without this old house, they would be in a stew.