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.