Papa Mouse: [To his 9 starving children] My little mouslings, the snow of a few weeks ago has been particularly cruel to us and our humble home, here in the space between the bins behind Yummy Fried Chicken Shack in Newham. We will die before dawn as we have already eaten Grandma and nobody wants to go to the tube station for any chewing gum. I'm sorry. I have loved you all. Well, most of you.
Mama Mouse: Oh, my poor babies. How can I protect you? Where can I take you where you will be warm and clean and have a good supply of surgical gauze to use as comfortable bedding?
Mouse Children: Take us to the hospital!
Papa Mouse: What genius children! Then let us go, to Newham General Hospital! Huzzah![Exeunt]
It seems the recent cold spell has driven London's urban wildlife indoors. Everyone appreciates having somewhere warm, clean and well-lit to rest in the winter, including London's rodent community. Newham General Hospital has had to close a ward because mice have appeared in a "cluster of sightings" in the ward and cold weather has been blamed for the sudden infestation of our mousey friends.
A hospital can't run if overrun with vermin, no matter how endearing their little paws or how harrowing their journey there so the ward will be closed until pest control officials are happy that high standards of hygiene and clinical care have been met. Hospital officials have apologised for the inconvenience and distress experienced by some patients and visitors.
Rather worryingly, while the warmth-seeking mice are being dealt with, it seems cockroaches have also been seen in the hospital. There is less scope for a charming, anthropomorphised cockroach melodrama - even Beatrix Potter would struggle to come up with a cuddly tale of things working out well for these unpleasant insects. The public have been assured that the cockroach situation is being tackled. We hope that the cockroaches are not just being tackled but also stamped out.
Perhaps what Newham General Hospital needs is visit from a certain Dr P. Piper of Hamlin who will no doubt clear up any unwanted bugs and fuzzy heads.