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20 MAR

Mouse proud: Rodent seen tidying up tools in garden shed

by Sky News

By Tom Gillespie, news reporter

A pensioner left scratching his head over who was cleaning his garden shed every night has finally discovered the culprit – a helpful mouse.

Stephen Mckears, 72, "thought he was going mad" when he first noticed objects were moving around a month ago.

The retired electrician found plastic clips were appearing in an old ice cream tub filled with peanuts he uses to feed the birds.

Image: Stephen Mckears joked that the rodent was 'stockpiling for Brexit'

Mr Mckears, from Severn Beach, South Gloucestershire, then noticed other objects begin to accumulate.

The pensioner decided to empty the tub each night, scattering nuts and bolts across his shed.

When he woke up in the morning he discovered the mess had been cleared up.

After weeks of finding large screws, plastic leads, and nuts and bolts neatly filed away, Mr Mckears and his neighbour Rodney Holbrook decided to set up a camera to observe what was happening.

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The tiny animal lifted a sheet of metal before trying to put it away
Image: The tiny animal lifted a sheet of metal before trying to put it away

Mr Mckears and Mr Holbrook, 70, were stunned when the footage showed a mouse tidying the shed.

The house-proud rodent was seen picking up a screw in its mouth and putting it in the tub, as well as a large metal clip and pieces of plastic.

The tiny mouse even tried to lift objects twice its size.

Mr Mckears said: "I've been calling him Brexit Mouse because he's been stockpiling for Brexit.

"The heaviest thing was the plastic attachment at the end of a hose pipe – and the chain of an electric drill.

The mouse tried to lift a plastic hose attachment into the ice cream tub
Image: The mouse tried to lift a plastic hose attachment into the ice cream tub

"I didn't know what it was at first. The kids were saying it was a ghost.

"One day I emptied the tub out and spread the contents on the side – and the next day they were all back in again.

"I thought I was going mad."

The pair filmed the mouse tidying away the objects from around midnight to 2.30am.

The rodent had been carrying out the activity every night for around a month.

Mr Mckears added: "It was doing it for about two hours that night – he must have had to go for a sleep after it.

"I've seen a mouse moving objects to make a nest but never metal objects. It's quite amazing.

"It's still busy doing it now."

Mr Mckears set up a camera to film the mouse cleaning his shed
Image: Mr Mckears set up a camera to film the mouse cleaning his shed

Mr Holbrook, who lives just a few minutes away from his friend, is a keen wildlife photographer and said he had to see the house-proud mouse for himself.

He said: "I've been calling him Metal Mickey but some people have been saying he's just mouse proud.

"I was quite amazed to see it – it is an amazing mouse.

"Steve asked if he could use my trail camera to film whatever it was that was moving the objects in his shed.

"The mouse was chucking things into the box – we thought it was a ghost or something at first. I thought I have to see this for myself."

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