The world of animal-lovers was in a frenzy of excitement this morning, after it was revealed that, for the last three years, a man from Suffolk has been unaware that a vole had been living in his beard.
Ronald Lee, 49, of Ipswich, lives alone in a council flat with no luxuries. He doesn't even have a TV. He rarely has a bath, preferring instead, to stand outside when it pours down with rain.
When Lee woke from his slumber this morning, his beard was especially itchy. He said:
"It's always a bit itchy. I never wash it, you see. But today, it was extra itchy. I had a root around, and I found this vole nestled in nicely."
Voles are usually very timid woodland creatures, who prefer to frequent the undergrowth, eating plants, roots, nuts and, sometimes, dead animals, rather than loitering around in tramps' beards, but there's always an exception to the rule!
"Now I come to think about it, I've had this irritable itch for about three years, so it looks like I've had my guest for that long, if not longer."
But the vole, who Ronald has named Wilf, said:
"Nah. I only moved in here last week. He's more than likely got some other filthy infestation that he's not aware of."