Uncle runs into the house from the garden, slamming the kitchen door. Breathing hard he moans: 'They almost got me - that was a lucky escape!'
He bolts the door top and bottom and instructs us to stay indoors for our own safety while he goes upstairs to get his gun. Our demands to know what on earth is going on are met with a stern and manly 'This is no time to ask questions; this is a time for action'. He thunders up the stairs and we stand petrified in the kitchen; Nan bravely peers through the window and says she can't see anything.
Uncle comes down holding his airgun. 'This will settle their hash,' he says with a definite air of John Wayne, although that may have been lent by his blue and red checked shirt.
'Son, don't do anything silly - violence isn't always the answer,' Nan says. 'If it is those kids from next door, I'll just go and have a word with their mum.'
'Don't be stupid woman, it's rats.'
Rats we both repeat, somewhat stupidly.
'Yes, rats. I went into the shed to get my bike and two big rats came rushing out from behind the coal bunker.'
'Oh, you don't want to be worrying about them,' says Nan. 'They're ever so tame: they come out from behind the coal bunker whenever I go in there to feed them.'