So anyway: the Buzzard. Actually, perhaps I had best offer a little scene-setting to begin with.
For several months now, my partner and I have been observing the progress of some young infants at Abbotstone. The earlier part of this year saw one of the deer from the Abbotstone herd give birth to, not one, but two little fauns.
We didn't mention it before, because we respected the babies' right to privacy, but from time to time we would stop and watch as the little ones ran and played. Obviously, they were always supervised by their mother, sometimes accompanied by another female deer from the herd acting as a kind of "mother's help". And she needed it - they were feisty young 'uns. We wondered what the little creatures were to start with; initially we assumed they were small foxes, but foxes don't generally jump about so much and we quickly realised our mistake. The deer did not mind our watching the babes, as long as we maintained a respectful distance, and their antics have enlivened many an evening walk. Recently, the gradual maturing of the infants has indicated that the twins comprised one buck and one doe.
And now, I return to the present. It offends me to repeat the Buzzard's exact conversation, but the crux of his dastardly plot centred on a union between us to bring about the destruction of the young fauns. He proposed that he would distract the mother and the "nanny" from the air, while I mounted a rearguard action from the ground - he would then strike the fauns from the air, while I set to with my fangs on their little bellies.
Now then. I have no doubt whatsoever as to the identity of the father of these two youngsters. Cast your mind back, if you will, to my blog entry for 12 September 2006, when all that was Jasper in this world was very nearly ground into dust by the herd's Head Stag - never a man to shrink from a rumble, if ever there was one. You may therefore be sure that I told the Buzzard in no uncertain terms to "S*d off." His protests were more than equal to his arrogance. He demanded to know why I would not support him, when I stood to benefit so much myself.
"Because the Stag will stomp me to a bloody pulpy mess while you hover by, laughing at me." I told him. "You won't help me and then you'll come back and eat the bits of me that are left. Take your revolting scheme and clear off." He watched me stalk away in silence.
Call me foolish, but experience has shown me that the Stag is a quivering hornets' nest of rage and suspicion. When you find such a hornets' nest, you leave it WELL ALONE - you do NOT pull down the hornets' nest and drag to the park for a game of football. The Stag is my hornets' nest; I will NOT be his David Beckham. Besides, we all have to draw the line somewhere, and my own personal mark is etched firmly ABOVE the words "Children and pregnant/nursing mothers." I'm not COMPLETELY morally bankrupt.
Enough of such matters. I have had the pleasure of my partner's constant company for some time past, and will have it for some time to come. She has had a spell of bad health once again and has been signed off work for six - six!! - weeks. Oh dear. But the circumstance has recently opened up a whole new experience for me to enjoy; that of visiting the library to choose a library book. We have a small library in our little town. It is amazing. You can pick any book you like from their selection and take it home to read FOR FREE! Fantastic! My little cousin (my partner's nephew) Ewan visits his local library in Hereford every week with his mother, my partner's sister-in-law. For folk of his tender age, there is a weekly gathering in the local library and someone reads them two stories and then they all sing a song together - usually something involving wheels on a bus, or rowing some sort of boat gently down a stream. And it's all free!! I wish I had had something like that when I was a puppy.
I was very excited at the prospect of choosing a library book. I was hoping to borrow More Than One Way to Skin a Cat, 101 Ways With A Squirrel or perhaps From Burrow to Bowl: Catching and Cooking Your Supper, but I couldn't find them so we settled for a history book instead.