CULTURE & ARTS

Just Try To Look Away From This Absurdly Flat Mouse Found In A 17th-Century Book

What a cute li'l mummy.
A mouse that was squashed by 19th-century pupils at the Cathedral School in a Latin textbook that was published in 1684.
A mouse that was squashed by 19th-century pupils at the Cathedral School in a Latin textbook that was published in 1684.

Well, that’s one way to get rid of a pest ― and your pesky Latin homework ― all in one fell blow. 

The Latin textbook featured above, published in 1684, became an unlikely tomb for a mouse when 19th-century students at the Salisbury Cathedral School in the U.K. put their learning supplies to an unconventional use. The textbook ― and mouse ― are preserved now at the Cathedral library, along with other snippets of the printed word past, such as manuscripts handwritten on vellum nearly a thousand years ago.

If you want to see the adorably preserved corpse in person, head to Salisbury Cathedral for a guided tour of the library, which this month opened to the general public for the first time. In the past, you would have needed a valid academic institution behind you and a serious research purpose for your visit. (Does “I need to see a perfectly flat rodent with my own two eyes before I die” count? Hey, it does now!)

Otherwise, take a gander at a few more angles of the dearly departed mouse, and other Salisbury Cathedral library treasures, below.

  • Cathedral Archivist Emily Naish holds up a book that contains a mouse that was squashed by 19th-century pupil at the Cathedra
    Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    Cathedral Archivist Emily Naish holds up a book that contains a mouse that was squashed by 19th-century pupil at the Cathedral School.
  • Cathedral Archivist Emily Naish (C) displays a book, one of a collection of 12th-century manuscript books originally forming
    Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    Cathedral Archivist Emily Naish (C) displays a book, one of a collection of 12th-century manuscript books originally forming the Cathedral's Library at Old Sarum, to members of the public visiting the library at Salisbury Cathedral on Sept. 14, 2016 in Salisbury, England. Starting this month, the cathedral is offering the general public access to the library for the first time with organized guided tours. 
  • Part of the collection of rare and valuable books is seen here. Although the room housing the library at Salisbury
    Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    Part of the collection of rare and valuable books is seen here. Although the room housing the library at Salisbury Cathedral was built in 1445, the origins of the library stretch back much further and still contains a large collection of books that were created by the scribes of the old cathedral in the late 11th century, which constitutes the largest collection of manuscripts of the Norman period still with its original owner. 
  • Cathedral Archivist Emily Naish (R) talks to members of the public visiting the library. Today, the Library holds approx
    Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    Cathedral Archivist Emily Naish (R) talks to members of the public visiting the library. Today, the Library holds approximately 8,000 volumes dating from the ninth century to the present day, with the majority of books being theological and literary texts with further examples of a wide range of other subjects including science, mathematics and medicine.
  • Detail from a 10th century religious book is seen displayed at the library at Salisbury Cathedral on Sept. 14, 2016 in Salisb
    Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    Detail from a 10th century religious book is seen displayed at the library at Salisbury Cathedral on Sept. 14, 2016 in Salisbury, England.
  • Part of the collection of rare and valuable books is seen as it is open to members of the public visiting the library at Sali
    Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    Part of the collection of rare and valuable books is seen as it is open to members of the public visiting the library at Salisbury Cathedral on Sept. 14, 2016 in Salisbury, England.
  • A old pen and ink bottle.
    Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    A old pen and ink bottle.
  • A 14th century service book is seen displayed at the library. 
    Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    A 14th century service book is seen displayed at the library. 
  • A carving left by a stonemason.
    Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    A carving left by a stonemason.
  • Goodbye, mouse.
    Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    Goodbye, mouse.
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