‘I don’t bother to tidy up now’: Mouse takes over shed-cleaning duties in Wales

A man in Wales is getting a break from cleaning his shed, thanks to a helpful mouse.

Almost bringing the classic The Elves and the Shoemaker tale to life, a man in Wales discovered an unlikely helper has been tidying up his shed at night.

After months of finding his shed tidier in the morning than he’d left it the night before – and finding bird feed in his boots – retired postman and avid wildlife photographer Rodney Holbrook set up a night-vision camera on a workbench.

The camera ended up catching a mouse in action, picking up clothes pegs, corks, nuts and bolts, and placing them on a tray on Holbrook’s workbench.

He has since nicknamed the neat-freak rodent ‘Welsh Tidy Mouse’.

“Ninety nine times out of 100 the mouse will tidy up throughout the night,” he told the BBC.

“It is incredible really that they put them all back in the box. I think it’s possible that they enjoy it.”

Since discovering his secret helper, Holbrook has added different objects to the workbench to test if the mouse can lift it; he has even caught it carrying cable ties.

But the rodent’s motives might not be entirely altruistic.

Holbrook believes his Welsh Tidy Mouse is using the objects to hide nuts for itself, but the situation is still mutually beneficial.

“I don’t bother to tidy up now. I leave things out of the box and they put it back in its place by the morning,” he said.

“I think he would tidy my wife away if I left her in there.”

Although this situation would be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for many, this isn’t the first time Holbrook has crossed paths with a similarly neat mouse.

When living in Bristol in 2019, his friend reached out for help fixing up a night camera when another mouse was keeping their shed in order.

In 2019, he helped a friend near Bristol to set up a night camera to catch a glimpse of the mouse stockpiling screws in a bird-feed container in his shed.

“That one video went viral and reached people around the world,” Holbrook said.

“So I can’t believe here in [Welsh town] Builth Wells we have had the same thing happen years later.”

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