Monday, 4 August 2008

The curious incident of the poo in the day time

As happens on many occasions I came home late the other night. The house was exactly as I had left it: chickens in the chicken run, dogs shut up in the extension area thing, sheep in the pen and not a mouse was stirring. Or so I thought.

Having let myself in and fed the dogs I walked to the bathroom and out of the corner of my peripheral vision caught sight of a strange brown package on the floor. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be poo. "That's funny" I thought to myself. As well as a few other things. My eyes travel up and notice another poo - probably from the same animal my detective skills inform me. At this point I briefly consider whether I might have poo-ed on the floor by accident in my sleep, and whether a foray into Wikipedia to find out about poo analysis might reveal the nature of the guilty person but decide that I'm really not that interested. My eyes travel further.....

And I notice a third poo. Of a distinctly different nature. Not just slightly different but totally and thoroughly different - like the difference between a jacket potatoe and a bowl of rice pudding for example. "That's funny" I think to myself. As well as a few other things.

A sane voice in my head says: there are 2 dogs and they probably just snuck past you whilst you weren't looking and for some inexplicable reason left you some poo on the floor.

A less sane voice says: I wonder if some kind of other animal has gotten into the house and done that? It's quickly followed by a paranoid voice that wonders if Oxfordshire has a new serial killer that leaves poo as their trademark before dispatching their victims. Suddenly the rabbit warren that is the house I'm staying in becomes a much more frightening place as visions of "the killer poo-er", most feared person since jack the ripper walked London's streets fill my mind.

A bucket & several pieces of kitchen towel later and the poo is gone (except for the more liquid aspects which were a tell tale clue that the poo was fresh, ergo the culprit must still be in the house). Unable to contain my paranoia any longer I find a conveniently placed hockey stick and camping lantern and sweep the lower floor of the house. Thus armed and looking like a bizarre & modern-art version of 'The Light of the world' I begin rushing through doors prepared to brain the killer poo-er with a child's hockey stick until I ascertain that the ground floor is 'clean'. At least, it's clean of other human presence.

Only the upstairs remains. There are 2 ways up stairs so I boobytrap one of them and use the other. Fortunately each step screaches with the agony of old wood - thus alerting my unknown assailant to my every move. At the top of the stairs there are 3 ways to turn. I decide that between my cleverly devised boobytrap, the noise of the stairs & the difficulty of watching in 3 directions at once I might as well just go to sleep. A short but coincidentally timed phone conversation later in which a friend assures me that yes, there probably is someone else in the house with me, I call the whole adventure quits. But not before I find some way to barracade the door to my room.

The mystery is more satisfactorily solved when I notice that one of the dogs seems to eat a lot of grass and I remember that the poo had been full of what looked like either grass or thread. I further remember that cows need some strange amount of stomachs to process grass and that humans can't do it anymore (something to do with the appendix I think) so probably it was a dog.

The bowl-of-rice-pudding poo however, remains a mystery.