It’s like something out of a fairytale: the elderly man goes to his shed every morning to find that it’s been tidied up – by a mouse.
Retired electrician Stephen McKears first noticed the mysterious phenomenon about a month ago.
Bits and bobs that had been left on his workbench would be moved into an old ice-cream tub that he used to store wild bird food.
Worrying that he was losing his marbles, Stephen, 72, deliberately created extra mess to see what happened, leaving buts and bolts all over the bench – and the phantom tidier would put everything away.
“I didn’t know what it was at first..” he said. “The kids were saying it was a ghost.
“One day I emptied the tub out and spread the contents on the side – and the the next day they were all back in again. I thought I was going mad.”
“I didn’t know what it was at first…the kids were saying it was a ghost”
Stephen enlisted his neighbour Rodney Holbrook, 70, to help him get to the bottom of the mystery.
The pair set up a video camera to record whatever was happening, and were amazed to see that Stephen’s midnight cleaner was a mouse.
Stephen, from Severn Beach, Glos, said: “I’ve been calling him Metal Mickey but some people have been saying he’s just mouse proud.
“The heaviest thing was the plastic attachment at the end of a hose pipe – and the chain of an electric drill.”
Rodney, who lives just a few minutes drive from his friend, is a keen wildlife photographer and said he had to see the DIY mouse for himself.
He said: “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.”
The pair filmed the mouse tidying away the metal objects from around midnight to 2.30am – an activity it has been doing every night for around a month.
Stephen 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.”