23 May 2011


Brigid was a city girl. She was never far from people, and not too shy of crowds. She scrounged for whatever she could find, helping herself to leftovers, nothing wasted.

One day she felt attracted by a sweet smell and scurried towards it. In a few jumps and a little bit of a scrape, she dived into a bin full of morsels of food to nibble on and a delicious pool at the bottom of it to lap at. She buried herself down deep, sampling and sniffing as she went.

Suddenly her world lunged violently and began to rumble. In terror she scrambled for the surface, her little toes gripping desperately to the shaking contents as she climbed upwards. Finally she surfaced and jumped clear.

She was in the hall of a house under the glare of a lightbulb.

One of the people screamed. She darted for the safety of a cupboard under the stairs and squirmed away into the darkness. After a moment the door slammed and her chink of light disappeared.

She could hear the people walking about outside, running up and down the stairs above her head. They tucked their trousers into their socks. Outside the cupboard, one of them put on wellies. One of them pulled a hood over her ears. One of them opened the front door and opened Brigid’s door and poked a sweeping brush around angrily. She shrunk down further and kept still.

The people in the house named her after their landlady who wouldn’t let them have a cat.

After an hour or so the cupboard door opened again and a trap was placed inside. It is still there, baited with chocolate spread. Brigid’s sense of smell is keen. From her corner of the cupboard she can smell it.

The house is quiet. The people who live in it are wondering if Brigid will gnaw her way to freedom. 

They are waiting for her hunger to betray her.

They are listening for the snap and her screams.