Like wartime evacuees, the city folk gawped at the foreign countryside. “What are those fruit?” “What sort of a feather is that?” “Oh, look! How pretty.” It was as if we’d never seen fields before; but then we’re Irish, and used to viewing the countryside through a cloud.
Adventurous Aunt and Uncle Bungle had hens clucking, vegetables growing and bees buzzing. Newts in the pond, a hammock and a summer house. Enid Blyton type adventures. A little slice of heaven in sunny Somerset.
Cousins collected warm eggs on the first morning. Four children, four eggs- perfect. The hens were named; their foibles and characters discussed. Easy, lazy family fun.
Nature in all its glory. Much for us to learn.
Learning that nature is raw and untamed, not just postcard pretty.
By the second morning, there were Ex Hens.
The badger was still there when Adventurous Auntie opened up the henhouse. Still enjoying his meal? Now too big to get back along the route he’d burrowed? He didn’t stop to chat, but ran off through the weak point of the fence, across the middle of a field, swaying crops marking his route.
His night time burrow required him to shift breezeblock and corrugated iron. He’s rumoured to have been this big, about 3 times the size of a sturdy westie.
We spent some days wondering how to get our own back on the badger population. I have no idea if the current cull will prevent the spread of TB, but I’m afraid I don’t mind.
Badgers, I’ve taken agin them.