Jeremy Clarkson has written about his guilt on his farm as he found a mouse was trapped in the frame of a seed drill last week while Kaleb Cooper, his second in command, was keen to get him planting seed.
“I couldn’t go out into the fields and unfurl this enormous machine — it’s like an oil rig, only bigger and more complicated — knowing that a sweet little mouse was in there.
“And that in all probability it wouldn’t survive.
“Kaleb was staggered by this and pointed out that the whole farmyard is littered with mouse and rat traps.”
Jeremy understood Kaleb’s point, but despite this worked on freeing the mouse. He did eventually manage to get it out, but he became “white-faced with horror and guilt” when he realised the poor creature had moved to behind his tractor wheel instead. At this point he was set to work yet again to free the mouse, performing “the best hill start you’ve ever seen”, but this wasn’t enough.
“Straight away there was a problem.
“Because as this 3.5-tonne machine rose from the ground, it pulled the tractor backwards about nine inches.
“A sickening nine inches. A crunchy nine inches.”
He continued, accepting the fate of the animal:
“And so, with a heavy heart, I let the clutch in and set off knowing that after the tyre had done a quarter of a rotation, a small red splodge would become visible.”
Fortunately, he believes that he did actually see the mouse flee the scene as he drove away after surviving Kaleb’s brother’s attempt to stamp on it.
This isn’t the first time Jeremy has opened his heart to viewers of Clarkson’s Farm. The first season saw Clarkson tear up after having to put down three sick ewes.
“I’m a sheep farmer, this is what sheep farmers do, they take their animals to make, they take them to the abattoir,” he told the camera. But when he went to say his last goodbyes, he was told they had already been taken care of. This, for once, left the presenter speechless as he left the abattoir and returned to the farm.