The Library of the
London & Southern Counties Mouse & Rat Club
By "An Old Fancier"
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software has been commenced on this book. There may be some errors which will be corrected as soon as possible. Further OCR will be carried out so on the remainder of the chapter shortly.
THE mouse, in its wild state, is naturally the enemy of all, if so feeble a creature can be termed an enemy, and, as a natural consequence, the enemies of the mouse are in strong force. It is not, however, the wild mouse that we have to deal with at present, but the pretty, if not more useful, fancy mouse, the pet of our boyhood. In years gone by we kept mice both for pleasure and profit, and so good had we got the different strains or families that, making allowance for the tendency to revert, or throw back, we could obtain almost any peculiarity for which the strain was selected. Thus we had black with white head and ears, white with black feet and head, and a strain that was coloured much like a silver grey rabbit. The whole secret of our success was selection and perseverance.
In breeding mice, as with dogs, or horses, or any animal, selection is one of the greatest essentials, and after selection comes perseverance. But we are straying from the point of our present chapter.
The fancy mouse is both elegant and graceful and fully repays any pains bestowed on it, as the smell is nearly, if not quite, destroyed by keeping the cages properly clean. There is, however, one thing to which we most decidedly object, and that is letting the animals loose, so that they multiply and overrun the whole premises, both of their owner and of other persons, which, besides being an annoyance, is also a loss of capital, as fancy mice always find a ready sale at from 8d. to 10s. 6d. per pair, according to the markings, &c. In fact, we have had as much as 30s. for a pair of tortoiseshell mice, and to the purchaser they were cheap, as he had more than a dozen tortoiseshell ones from the pair.
Mice are easily taught various tricks, and as this is sometimes an advantage, we shall refer to the matter further on.
We will add to this material shortly…
LSCMRC Web Page - Updated -4th June 1999