Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Thing.


Some thing is nesting somewhere inside my bedroom wall.

At first, I thought the noise was probably just coming from upstairs, where my mother was staying at the time. You see, we have an attic conversion, which means nothing can nest in the roof’s eaves or wherever nesting usually occurs. But then again, what would I know about the usual nesting places?

My worst experience back home was probably the rats in the basement of our apartment block. Whenever I came home late in the evening, I would walk into the block and make as much noise as I could; stamping and clapping and, often, would see a rat whooshing past me.

But now, I live in countryside. There is wild life all around me and I am not too familiar with its habits and the noises it makes. In Baku the only noise at night were the road police shouting in their megaphones; and the  car wheels screeching as the drunken youth sped away.

So, when I first heard the crumbling, rustling kind of noise in the wall behind my bed, I thought it was my mother up in the attic, doing something at 5am.

Slightly annoyed, I got up and tip toed upstairs, to ask if there was any particular reason she was trying to wake me up. Poor mother, of course, was soundly asleep.

So, after we established it was not her, we realized it was someone else.

The noise was pretty disturbing and always happened in the very early hours of the morning. It sounded like someone was trying to build (or demolish?) something inside the wall right behind my head.

I applied a process of deduction.

You see, whilst husband, the child and I were away for a few days, my mother reported seeing a baby creature of some bizarre origin she did not recognize. She said it was pretty big, without any wings, but with four legs and a trapeze shaped head.

Mother said it must have fallen from the top of the house somewhere, as it landed straight into the dog’s bed she left in the garden early in the morning. Concerned the dog would eat the creature, she quickly picked up the mat it was on, and threw the trapeze headed baby into the bushes, never to be seen again.

None of it sounded good to me.

You must have a cavity somewhere…’ My boss pointed out.

I was not sure if this question was a good harassment material, but decided to let it drop. It is a tough job market out there at the moment. The wall, I corrected, might have some sort of a cavity. I just can’t imagine where, and how to catch whoever it is constructing something inside it.

'I bet it is a rat!' I said. But the boss, feeling guilty about the cavity comment, assured me that the chances of it being a rat are slim. Rats like to move inside houses in London only because they have no better places to live, he explained patiently. Since you have a nice countryside around you, it probably is not a rat, but a squirrel. Call the council.

I called the council. 'Are you sure it is a squirrel?' they asked. 'Because, if it turns out to be a bird, we can’t get rid of it. Birds are protected.'

No, I was not sure. I was only basing my assumptions on the evidence given by my mother and the noise the creature was making. Then, someone kindly pointed out that it could also be a glis glis.

I never before heard of such a thing, so had to Google it. Incredibly cute. Except for the litter of 11 and being partial to the house wiring. The problem with glis glis is of course is that they are also protected.

After a few more nights of waking up at 4:30, I told Husband we had no choice but to set up some poisonous trap on the garage roof. Without telling the council, of course. Would not want to get in trouble for murdering the protected animals. Yet, after weeks of disturbed sleep, I was ready to kill whatever it was and eat its babies.

And then, without any warning or culmination, the noise just stopped.

'It hatched' Husband announced thoughtfully.

Last night a different kind of noise, also of a definitely organic nature, broke the peaceful silence outside. It kept repeating for a while as we lay there, wondering what it could be. In the end, we agreed it was possibly an agonizing cow being tortured somewhere in a field nearby. By whatever hatched in our wall.

Oh, I miss the crazy Baku road police.


  1. Love it! I had squirrels nesting in our loft one year. They would get into the cavity walls and crawl all over the house - I used to bang the walls and ceiling with a broom stick when I heard them. One day they were clearly having a party above Charlie's room so I quietly pulled down the stairs to the loft and then ran up them screaming. Blinking back at me in the dark where about five babies completely frozen in fear! It must have done the trick because once they got big enough the whole family moved out and have never been back. Next time, use your scary, Azeri.

  2. Maybe you are about to chase your own big white whale. I think you might have to start your next post with: Call me Scary.
    Seriously, I really hope you can get rid of the noises. As someone living in a city, those noises are unknown to me. I remember some years ago when I was waken up by some strange noises. It was a mouse walking on the top of the table I have in my bedroom.
    Keep us posted!

  3. Ha-ha,azery road police cars,at present they are make loud noises in the middle of nights.Our silly dog barks back,sounds are very similar

  4. Pegeons nesting in my balcony in Baku. And making mess. And I couldn't bring myself to destroying the nest. I hate pegeons!

  5. Grrrr.... we've got the little buggers in our house, too.... and we've been trying to get rid of them for about 8 years. People from the council have come and caught them, pest experts have had a wander around the house looking for ways in. Still nothing. Normally, we get excited about this time of year. The noises stop. The scratching stops. The shrill squeak stops. WE MIGHT HAVE GOT RID OF THEM?! But no, every spring we hear a little scratching about and know that the little blighters were only sleeping. Which is more than they allow us to do.

    Bah humbug!

  6. My Granny used to like to tell the story of my mother's first overnight visit to her house. My Mum grew up in a town and my Granny lived in the country.

    Did you sleep well? Granny asked the next morning. Not entirely, said Mum. The birds woke me up at 5am.

    Loud, the birds in the country. Luckily in the city, all sorts of things drown them out. I once lived in a street much favoured by the emergency services. *shudder*

  7. Oh dear. I think I have just posted a coment to your blog intended for someone else's blog. Sorry about that. Shame it wasn't on your 'impending dementia' post really. The perils of having too many windows open.