I've seen you on your rounds
with all those visitors from other towns
I doubt that you have seen me though
as I keep my visible presence quite low
I scurry between the fort and vicus
Looking for food amongst the detrtitus
But pickings are slim at the moment you know
Though I can pick up some seeds when the grass gets a mow
I hope the visitors come back soon
They leave lots of crumbs, it's such a boon.
You may wonder how I came to this fort
Well it's a long story, but I'll try to be short
The family story is that our ancestor came
Over 2000 years back and they told me his name
Well my ancestors came to Britannia with Legions
Hitching rides in supply carts and up through the regions
Then we reached that place known as Fort Vindolanda
We knew just then that we we reached our Nirvana **
So the name of the mouse from whom I'm descended?
Well surely you know the first Roman who landed
The answer to that I posed as a teaser
It is of course Mouse Julius Cheeser!

With best regards
Mousimus Dickius Cheesius

The Story then...

The stories told of my ancestors go back to when my ancestor Julius Cheeser arrived on these shores in 55BC. But the pickings were slim and better cheese was back in Gaul! It took almost a hundred years before Claudius Cheeser came back over with the Roman Army into the south east. 

Granary Building at Vindolanda soon after excavation in 2008.
Over the years our family moved up with the Roman supply carts. It was always good to stay with them, they were always spilling grain and crumbs. Some of the family went and followed the supply trains alomg the other Roman Roads to the south west, north west, and other places, but we lost touch with them. Perhaps one day we will find what happened to them.
But my family came eventually to Vindolanda, having stopped off at Eboracum, Catteractnium and Vinovium, as we came with the carts up Dere Street.

When we arrived here at Vindolanda, we soon found our home, just between the grain store and the Tavern, but we had to sneak through the main gate!


Remains of Mousimus' ancestors found in the East Granary at Vindolanda when it was excavated in 2008. (scale in cm).

By Jon Bemrose