Here’s a story from Kilvert’s family life, which could have become a piece of folklore if not for the keen observation of one of the household. It is also a reminder that even in the best households, vermin were a constant presence, especially rats and mice, so this event was curious rather than frightening.
While we were sitting at super this evening we were startled by a sound under the sideboard as if a rat were tearing and gnawing at the wainscot or skirting board. The noise ceased and then began again. Suddenly Dora uttered an exclamation and a strange look came over her face. She seized the lamp and went to the sideboard pointing to a white handled knife which lay under the sideboard and which she said she had seen a moment before crawling and wriggling along he floor-cloth by itself and making the … noise we had heard. No one knew how the knife had got under the sideboard. As four of us stood round looking at the knife lying on the floorcloth suddenly the knife leaped into the air and fell back without anyone touching it. It looked very strange and startled us a great deal. We thought of spirit agency and felt uncomfortable and compared the time expecting to hear more of the matter, until Dora observed a very tiny grey mouse taking the buttered point of the knife in its mouth and dragging it among and walking backwards.