A phial of bat droppings

These are not just ordinary bat droppings – these are hand-picked, evening- gathered moon-kissed, lesser horseshoe bat droppings, freshly bottled by starlight in the leafy glades round an ancient mill deep in the heart of rural Somerset.

And if you think we have just gone into the kitchen, scooped up a load of mouse droppings from the back of the larder let me tell you the secret of the bat dropping/mouse dropping test.

1) Pick up the dropping between your thumb and forefinger

2) Gently roll the dropping applying some - but not excessive - pressure

3) If the dropping collapses into a glutinous mush that adheres to your skin and smells quite bad – you have a mouse dropping on your hands

4) If, on the other hand, it disintegrates into a fine dry black powder full of pretty shiny bits, it is from a bat

(Now we expect you are really glad we told you that!)

The phial is about 2 inches high. We have not counted the droppings.

Unfortunately it has been pointed out to us that it is illegal to sell bat droppings on the grounds that in order to collect them, a bat roost must have been disturbed.  We can absolutely guarantee - and prove - that no bat was disturbed in the collection of these droppings. However it is still illegal to sell them so they have been withdrawn from sale, and all you can now do is admire them in cyberspace - enjoy!

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