OK, I haven’t done much for a while, I admit. Mrs BWM has been working at the weekends (including a practice event for the Olympics – she’s a volunteer announcer and they were having a dry run) so I’ve been on parenting duty and confined to home except for the odd short walk. I remember the good old days when Scarlett was little and she’d happily be carried for hours. Not any more.
But this is still my diary, so I have a few things to note. Firstly, I came across another dead badger on the main road. I saw it this morning on my way to the shops, in almost exactly the same place as the road casualty of July 23rd. On that occasion the dead badger vanished, causing me some confusion. I looked closely at this one, to make sure that I wasn’t imagining it. Good thing too, as by the time I came back an hour or so later, the badger had disappeared. There must be a sett around here somewhere; and I can only imagine that, being a main road, the bodies get picked up pretty quickly. I wonder how many road casualties occur that I don’t notice, even in our village?
While we’re on this morbid subject, we’ve had some trouble from a fox attacking chickens lately. There are at least a couple of foxes locally – I see their tracks regularly – but not nearly so many as we had in London. This is pheasant country, and there are rearing pens around the village. The keepers are not fond of foxes. Probably not fond of any other carnivores either, but certainly not foxes. Incidentally, a couple of years ago a fox got into the penguin enclosure at the nearby safari park and wreaked terrible havoc among the young penguins. Foxes were even less popular around here after that, I can tell you.
Anyway, our neighbour lost one chicken last week, killed in daylight. A couple of days later, our own Mabel went the same way, a patch of feathers telling the story. Poor Henrietta had a narrow squeak but escaped with cuts and bruises, only to fall victim on Friday. So it’s RIP Mabel and Henrietta. They’d had a good life – four and a half years – with no trouble. They have a fox-proof house in which they sleep, but this is the first time we’ve had a fox in the daytime, hence their run is not fully protected (which takes either a 6-foot tall dug-in fence, or an electric one).
On the whole, I like foxes. They are attractive, interesting to watch and great survivors. They do what they do, not out of spite or malice, but to eat and live. But I love them a little less after this.