An adorable rodent in Wales has captured global attention after being filmed meticulously tidying a retired postman’s messy shed every evening for over a week.
The series of nightly visits from the orderly little mouse was caught on camera by the shed owner, identified as Rob Jones from the small town of Builth Wells in Wales. Jones had originally set up a wildlife camera to film birds visiting his backyard feeder. But what he discovered was far more surprising – a tiny mouse who would emerge after dark and begin systematically tidying up Jones’ cluttered shed.
Background: Homeowner Sets Up Camera Expecting to Film Birds
Jones, 70, is an avid amateur photographer and birdwatcher who enjoys observing wildlife from his home office overlooking the garden. He decided to install a motion-activated night vision camera focused on a bird feeder in order to capture photos and videos of feathered visitors to his yard.
But when Jones reviewed the footage from the camera, he was astonished to discover his mysterious nighttime guest was not a bird, but rather a mouse who clearly did not approve of the messy state of Jones’ garden shed.
“I couldn’t believe it when I first saw the footage. I had to watch it several times before I really took in what the mouse was doing. I was expecting birds, not a little mouse tidying my shed!” Jones told reporters.
Nightly Shed-Tidying Routine Caught on Camera
The adorable footage shows the small rodent busy clearing leaves, stems, grass and other debris from Jones’ crowded work table over the course of several nights. It industriously runs back and forth across the surface, carrying pieces of litter nearly as big as its own body to a small pile hidden behind trash cans and storage tubs. Watching the mouse studiously clean and organize the space – clearly unbothered by the mess – captivated viewers around the world.
“He was just as thorough and tidy as could be, working away through the night to clear up my shed,” Jones said. “It was quite endearing, really.”
Jones was especially touched when the tidy mouse appeared to neatly fold a small piece of fabric it found amid the clutter.
“When he started folding things I found on the bench – that was when he won my heart,” he told the New York Times.
The mouse continued its nightly cleaning routine for over a week before suddenly disappearing. Jones hopes his shed’s unusual helper returns.
“I’d like to think he’s building a nest nearby and just needed some materials,” he speculated.
|Builth Wells, Wales
|Item used to film mouse
|Night vision wildlife camera
|Location of camera
|Backyard bird feeder
|Creature caught on camera
|Mouse tidying shed nightly
|Duration of tidying footage
|Over 1 week
Why Would a Mouse Clean Up a Shed?
Rodent experts theorize the mouse’s behavior goes beyond a simple search for nesting materials. This level of organization and repeatedly clearing clutter to form tidy piles likely satisfies some innate urge, not unlike human compulsions for orderliness.
University of Reading zoologist Finlay Stewart told the Guardian the mouse is probably “tidying for fun”. Though shed- organizing isn’t common among mice, Stewart explained some do display obsessive nest-sorting tendencies. He believes the tidying mouse may have started out gathering materials, then became immersed in the satisfying activity.
“They just get fixated on it. It’s locomotor play – the same as when you see pets running around chasing nothing. It gives them pleasure,” Stewart stated.
Global Fame for the “Welsh Tidy Mouse”
Dubbed the “Welsh Tidy Mouse” by admiring fans, the diligent little creature has gained celebrity status on social media. Its night-vision antics captivated viewers around the world. Many expressed delight at discovering mice can exhibit endearing, almost human-like behaviors when they think no one is watching.
The tidy mouse’s story was picked up by major news outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post and the Guardian. Fans eagerly shared the cute footage across Twitter and TikTok. Wildlife photographer Ben Andrew captured the internet’s enchantment, tweeting:
“There is something about this mouse video that gives me immense joy.”
As the tidy mouse’s tale went viral, the Welsh tourism board even jokingly welcomed new visitors lured by their latest unlikely local celebrity:
“Come to Wales, where even the mice do the housework!”
What’s Next for the Viral Tidying Mouse?
While Jones hopes the mouse returns to continue its nightly shed-cleaning routine, the rodent remains elusive for now. Some experts guess Mr. Tidy Mouse finished gathering materials for a nest hidden nearby, and may resurface if it needs more.
Given the way the story resonated globally, many fans are still hoping for updates if the earnest little cleaner makes a comeback.
“That mouse gave so much joy in bleak midwinter – maybe it will reappear!” one Twitter user wrote.
For now, the brief glimpse into the mouse’s meticulous world has left a smile on the faces of millions. As one fan perfectly encapsulated:
“Out of all the things I expected to make me happy in 2024, a mouse tidying a shed in Wales was not one of them.”
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.