Wednesday, 28 April 2010


Overrun with livestock.  Well, not really.  It just seems like it.

First, a few days after Mpira died, a duck appeared - with 15 ducklings. Which rapidly began to decrease: first one drowned in the pond, which I wasn't too sad about; after all, if a duck can't swim, it doesn't deserve to survive. You have to think of the survival of the race of Ducks - no good encouraging the continuation of genes which encourage drowning, if you're a duck. 

Then there were 14. Mama Duck took them on a walk one morning and lost one on the way, returning with 13.

Then there were none. No duck, no ducklings. A drake arrived in the garden and started harrassing her: despite our best efforts to chase him off, we couldn't be there 24/7. So she took off. Not literally - the ducklings couldn't fly, having only vestigial wings which they couldn't even flap.

Now we have the odd drake - very odd.  And the odd pair - also odd. No eggs, no ducklings, no apparent purpose in life. They don't even take a purposeful interest in the pond - it's more the 'oh, I say, a pond, we might as well make a perfunctory splash just for ducks' sake' approach.

Rabbits, now.  Mpira just LOVED chasing rabbits. Nothing pleased him more than to take off at top speed after these interlopers. 

News must have sped round the warren, because they were there the very next morning. Two large, fat, lolloping rabbits, lumbering round the lawn in the early morning. They've moved on now: to the next door field, where they gaze at us over the wall, unfazed now there is no terrier to see them off. Instead, there is a tiny baby bunny which sits, completely unafraid, munching away, taking no notice of us as we walk to the cars and back again.

Oher rodents too.  The rats which Mpira loved to harrass, screaming up to them and then pulling up short with a bounce which set him rocking on all four paws, like a car which has jammed the brakes on, rocking on its springs.  They are out on the lawn under the bird feeder in bright daylight - no worries, no cares...

And the MICE.  I didn't mind the odd glimpse of a furry body dashing for the outdoors - they didn't seem to be eating anything.  We did, however, block up the tiny hole which we thought might be an entrance. They retaliated by gnawing away, seemingly outside our bedroom door, ALL NIGHT.  Clever, too - they stopped as soon as we sat up in bed, so it was hard to determine exactly where they were.

Livestock. Wild life.  Overrun.

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