It is a precarious pasodouble this dance of ours; the mouse my marionette and I the puppeteer as I coax her out of her tight coiled ball towards my proffered titbit.
I sway the mouse gently to and fro, intoxicating her with its scent, mesmerising her with the twitching tail. Silently she slips her coils, effortlessly smooth gliding over rock and branch to stretch towards my offering. Her head draws back, I hold my breath; but she feigns nonchalance and switches back on herself, retreating to the sanctuary of the log.
Now comes the end game. I still my puppet and wait. With lightning precision, she darts out, jaws unhinged, her powerful fangs enveloping her prey. I watch as she stops, allowing it to dangle whilst she rearranges coils, to manoeuvre it with optimum precision into swallowing position.
She is a dainty eater, slowly ingesting fur and tail, until all that remains is a small bulge in her mid drift, and a satisfied air of contentment.