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What's the most likely mouse species Robert Burns is referring to in his poem "To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough".

Burns farmed near Ayr, which is on the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. So the mouse of his poem would have to live in that area in the late 18th century. The creature obviously was living in an open field in December in a nest made of "leaves an' stibble [stubble]". From the poem's title it appears like the nest was constructed underground. "Sleekit" refers to sleek coated as in shiny fur. A clue to the mouse's diet is given by "A daimen icker in a thrave", ie grain. According to Wikipedia: "Scotland has no population of the Edible or Hazel Dormouse, or of the Yellow-necked Mouse, and the Harvest Mouse's range is limited to the southern part of the country."

The poem is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_a_Mouse

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Have you looked at the poem for more information about the mouse's habitat and behaviour? –  Peter4075 Mar 28 at 15:22
    
I've tried to give a bit more information in my original question. Does that help? –  Peter4075 Mar 28 at 16:53
    
Very much, thanks! Deleting my previous comments. Off topic but which word actually refers to grain? –  terdon Mar 28 at 16:55
    
"Daimen means rare or occasional, icker is one ear of corn, a thrave is a measure of cut grain". Taken from robertburns.plus.com/mouse.htm. –  Peter4075 Mar 28 at 17:02

1 Answer 1

It could be Wood Mouse(Apodemus sylvaticus).

Courtesy : redbubble.com

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