Monday, 20 January 2014

Ghost mouse

Water voleWalking along a deserted railway station platform the other day, I noticed a small 'thing' running just in front of me. It was clearly an animal of some sort. The most obvious thing, given its size and dark colour, was a mouse like the ones you see at London Underground stations. It was keeping pace with me so I couldn't get any closer. However, I was definitely close enough to be able to see exactly what it was. Except that I couldn't, however hard I looked. The 'mouse' seemed to have no obvious animal features. A ghost mouse then?

Then I saw a something that allowed me to understand what I was seeing - water. I was actually following a long thin ribbon of water, perhaps a centimeter or two wide. I hadn't noticed it before because of the unusual lighting. Now I could see that the 'ghost mouse' was the dark reflection of an object above me. The reflection moved because I was moving. Because I couldn't see the water, at first, it looked just like a small black object with the approximate dimensions and colour of a mouse.

Some questions answered. Where did the ribbon of water come from? It was a cold day and water had condensed on a metal bar in the canopy above the station platform. It then fell to form a narrow ribbon of water directly below. Could another witness have really thought this was a mouse? Well I was convinced it was a mouse for several seconds and I'm fairly familiar with them. Would it have been reported as a ghost mouse? You'd be amazed by what gets reported as paranormal! Lastly, why am I using a photo of a water vole instead of a mouse? I just didn't have a mouse pic around.

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