My Family And Other Animals Part 7

June 15, 2007 at 9:45 am Leave a comment

No Luck With The Birds

imageIndeed it rains quite often in Cheshire. As has often been said – that’s why the Lake District is where it is. And, despite annual clear-outs by a man with an industrial-sized super-cleaner, the soak-away drain at the heart of the car park often does not cope. It is often inundated. As a consequence, from about late September through to March (our grey period) , the car park looks more like a pond.

That is when it is mild. When it is cold, it better resembles a skating rink. A veritable death trap to all who would venture upon it.  However, when it is doing its pond impression, it is very convincing. In fact, on one occasion at least, it was so convincing that a passing wild duck decided to make its home at the “side of the pond” in the long grass beside the oil tanks alongside the row of garages. There, Mrs Duck (we’ll assume she was married although there was no sign of Mr Duck), built her nest and waited for her eggs to hatch!  She was there a couple of days. In fact, we were quite concerned about her. Although she was quite safe from humans, being almost invisible in her hideaway of herbage, we were worried about foxes, the local polecat that the farmers had been hunting, and, more likely, feline attention from the multitude of pet cats that existed at School Farm at the time (not least Maslow).

We consulted our local farmer, Godfrey, who assured us that she would be alright and that she would up and off as soon as the chicks had hatched. And this is what must have happened as, after a few days, she just disappeared. There was no sign of her chicks and, thankfully, no tell-tale sign of a fight or a killing ground. 

Mrs Duck was not the only avian visitor to grace our Cheshire home. While we were next door (we moved next door!) we were visited by a “resting” racing pigeon. It collapsed just by our back door. Cathy gave it a name. Something like Tarquin if I remember correctly, after the guy on the Boddingtons’ advert. We know it was a racing pigeon because C phoned the RSPB and gave them the number on the poor little bugger’s ankle bracelet. They assured us it was probably just resting and in need of water and food. We gave it both. We hid him so that he would not fall prey to the local cat (this was the days before Maslow). We left him to rest.  image

He was dead within the hour. Deceased. Stiff as a Norwegian Blue Parrot in a Monty Python sketch. Cathy asked me to dispose of Tarquin. I did. I threw him over the hedge into the farmer’s field. For a bird, he was not very aerodynamic when dead. He flew like a stone……  

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My Family And Other Animals Part 6 Early Education Part 1

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