Yesterday there was one outside the window – for about an hour. Even so you couldn’t get a good view of it because for most of that time it had its head stuck inside the chest cavity of a dead Hare. The Hare had died a few days earlier, and although I had noticed it; as the days rolled past I felt increasingly disinclined to go and pick it up. Well, you don’t like to, do you?
And in any case it had been raining hard for days – and then on the first dry day when I could have picked it up, I noticed flies taking off from it, practising for an air show, so I didn’t like to disturb them in case I caused an accident.
That ferret was huge.
Anyway, this morning I was just in the utility room feeding the dog when I noticed some strange droppings. Scooter the dog is a Weimaraner – Weimaraner’s have the most sensitive noses on the planet …It’s a little known fact, but ya Weimaraner can detect the presence of a pigs-ear doggy-snack even when it has been welded inside a lead box and thrown into 100ft of murky water.
So I was slightly puzzled when he showed no interest in the droppings. But then I remembered the other thing about the Weimaraner …the other thing about the Weimaraner is that as soon as the lid comes off the doggy-cruckle bin all five senses immediately vacate the body so as not to get damaged whilst the frenzied corpse goes into epileptic spasms of excitement, and return only hesitantly to it after the bowl is empty.
When ‘Smell’ had decided to reinvest the corpse with its powers – Scooter went straight over to the droppings, and then followed the footsteps (invisible to the human eye) of the creature that had deposited them onto my floor – whether because it had suddenly found itself caught short, or as a personal slight to me, history will probably never learn – out into the next room and to a heap of Linda’s horse-grooming equipment. Having got to it Scooter stopped and ‘pointed’, as much as to say the creature that has incomoded you is sitting under that horse blanket (Weimaraner’s are very Dickensian in their speech patterns) …remove for me that blanket, square away, and I shall obtain the retribution you seek – right down to the last squeak.
Before I could remove the blanket, as instructed, Scooter shot backwards and went around to the other side of a partition wall, and at the same time I remembered that there was a hole in the wall down there, which had been made by a diligent plumber who had every intention of preventing the house from flooding by running an overflow pipe through it one fine day before he retired – but happily he is not yet even sixty; has time on his side, and so the hole remains: through it, the intruder made good his escape …and Scooter saw him go. But he only got as far as the next room.
You know those fishing nets you can buy for children in seaside Toy and Novelty shops – the ones mounted on a bamboo pole, with a wire hoop, and some green netting? Well, one of those was amongst the toot bequeathed to us by the previous tenants, and this morning it made it’s very first catch.
I put the ferret – or whatever it was – into a big plastic tub, threw in some sawdust so that it had something nice to lie back on, and then waited for my farmer/neighbour to pop by – as he does everyday- to see my zoo. He took one look at it, declared it was a Pole-Cat, and then proposed we train it to hunt rabbit, and keep us in rabbit-stew for the rest of our natural lives.
I wanted here to ask you – I wanted to run a little opinion poll – I was going to ask you what you thought I should do with it, and kick things off by positing three possible courses of action; viz –
1/ Drown it. 2/ Drive it a long way from the house, and restore its freedom. 3/ Keep it as a pet and use it for ferreting-out rabbits so that me and my neighbour can enjoy the economic advantages of a sharp reduction in butchers bills.
I was going to run that little opinion poll – but one of my blog-responders who appears on these pages; and who lives in a church overrun with rats, mice, cats, rabbits, bats, owls, and cockroaches – and doesn’t dream of carrying out a little discreet pest control – caught a whiff of my plan and threatened to have me thrown into prison if I hurt a hair on its head.
So I’ve decided that its best chance of success can be secured by dropping it off at her place.
Phoenix from the Ashes has been shortlisted for the Mountbatten Maritime Award.