Used in folk *medicine for a wide range of ailments - most commonly for bed-wetting, but also for *whooping cough, sore throats, and various fevers. They might be boiled, roasted, fried, or reduced to powder and 'given in some pleasant or delightsome drinke', as Edward Topsell advised (The Historie of Foure-Footed Beastes (1607), 515), or mixed with jam and served as a sandwich. Cures of this kind were still occasionally used in rural areas in the 1930s.
   In some places where belief in *witchcraft persisted into the 20th century, it was thought that the witch's *familiars were white mice, which she would keep in a box; she could not die till she passed them on to a relative. Stories about this were well remembered in Canewdon (Essex) in 1960, with reference to women who had lived there around 1900 (Maple, 1960: 246-7); the belief is also recorded in Sussex in the 1930s (Simpson, 1973: 76).
   Mice are considered an *omen of bad luck, sickness, or death if they arrive in large numbers in a house previously free of them, enter a bedroom, gnaw someone's clothes, or run across someone's body. To get rid of them, one should speak to them politely, explaining that their presence is inconvenient, and suggesting some other house they might prefer.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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