Rodent requiem


‘The music block is closed until further notice’.
This stark proclamation shouts at me from an A4 piece of paper sellotaped to the outer door.
I read the smaller print beneath the title for further explanation.
I sigh.
Guitars have been subjected to yogurt abuse and the carpet embedded with biscuits.
The destructive properties of food when wielded as a weapon in a music department!
A quiet violence.
How totally mindless, how very sad.
The door is not locked, I step through into the still darkness. Music tuition, it seems, is still allowed.

I open the door of my usual room, with its dollhouse size proportions and dirty skylight.
A double bass cowers in the corner, back to the room as though ashamed of his scratched
body and missing strings.
The elderly piano stands stoically against the wall, resigned to the demeaning black alphabet scrawled scruffily on its keys and the gouged declaration on its lid that ‘S LUVS L’.
Contorted music stands lean precariously against a three legged chair.
The dead mouse lying in the middle of the floor is an incongruous new addition.
I stop, violin case in one hand, door handle in the other.
Although its presence does little to enhance the sad, broken art that surrounds it,
the poor mouse seems somehow to encapsulate the general aura of gloom.

How did it get there?
What led to its demise?
Death by music, perhaps.
The tableau before me would not look out of place at the Tate Modern.
I imagine a graffitied title in sharpie pen scribbled across the ripped, phallus endowed posters
opposite the door:
‘The death of music’.

I close the door on the sorry site and eventually hunt down an appropriate adult to
report the suspicious death to.
My news causes quite a stir, the crime scene locked forthwith amidst mutterings of ‘poison’ and ‘health and safety’.
As I await the arrival of my overdue pupils I ponder on an explanation for them regarding my temporary re-housing in the corridor, deciding that ‘dead’ and ‘mouse’ should definitely be omitted.
As time ticks on it becomes apparent that I am destined to be student-less this hour, it transpires that a special assembly imprisons my pupils. A violin lesson is not reason enough for them to be extricated.

I gather up my belongings. The next school on my timetable is only a couple of miles away.
Due to my unexpected early finish, having never actually started, I will have time to stop off at the petrol station to grab a fortifying hot chocolate.
I think I have earned it.
Hopefully school number two will have violinists to teach, but be lacking in dead rodents and yogurt covered guitars.





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