Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Sunday 13 July 2008

What a rum old week it has been.

I think I have just about recovered from the shame of last weekend's exposure at the fayre. Alas, Candy still is not speaking to me, though I cannot fathom out why. I picked up the scent of my beautiful exotic vixen in the woods the other evening, and had a rather unpleasant epiphany. Her odour marks were, as before, rich in warmth and femininity but were tainted with the scent of something I had inexplicably missed before - pregnancy. Oh bottoms. That's the end of that, then. I wouldn't even want to look after my OWN mewling pups, with their attendant concerns of milk provision, education and tiny puppy-poops, let alone someone else's glut of passion-fruits. Especially a scabby old fox's. I shall just have to sigh over what could have been.

I ventured humbly into the park the other day, seeking out Candy. I saw her in the lower field - she was playing with Harvey (tan-coloured young Staffie: my former protegée, now a bit of a pest. Not a bad soul though, really). I bounded up to them. Candy stopped playing and just looked at me.
"Alright, Jazz?" yipped Harvey as he gave me the customary sniff-over. I offered my greetings to them both. Candy gave a little grunt and raised her snout into the air.
"Harvey." she said, as before, in a high-pitched, rather strangulated voice, "Would you tell Mr. Stafford that I am not speaking to him." And off she stalked, towards the gate that leads down to the river. Harvey looked at me and shrugged.
"Jasper," he began, "Candy says-"
"Yes." I cut in irritably. "Thank you Harvey, I heard what she said."
"Blimey mate, what did you DO?" I shook my head, and explained my last rational conversation with Candy, pertaining to the vixen and my series of questions. Harvey considered this for a moment and then shook his head. "Nope." he declared, "Can't see anything wrong with that." I nodded and was about to reply, when we heard Candy's voice.
"Harvey! Come and have a swim with me!" Harvey smiled apologetically at me, shrugged again, and capered off. I was left to amble back to Maisie, just as confused now as I had been before. I think I might have to purchase Candy's forgiveness with a little gift.

But now to other matters. In the strictly non-Mafia sense of the word, I recently became a godfather.

A delightful pair of swallows set up home in a nesting space in one of the outbuildings at my partner's place of work. Nature took its course and five little eggs duly appeared. These birds being inoffensive, I took it upon me to guard their home and soon grew as fond of the eggs as if I had laid them myself. Ewan and I watched as, one by one, the eggs hatched and the parents busied themselves feeding their new brood. And here, in a picture taken by my partner's boss, are my little godchildren:
My partner says the one in the centre looks like "old man Steptoe".

As Ewan and I surveyed the growing family, I with a growing sense of pride and he with a growing sense of ignorance, the familiar question-and-answer carousel began to spin.
"Yes Ewan?"
"What are they?"
"They are birds, Ewan. Little baby birds."
"Oh right, yes. Brilliant."
The usual few seconds' pause.
"Wh-" But I was away and into the edge of the woods before the inevitable "what are birds?" could fall from his mouth, to lay a few little eggs of my own, heh heh....

But alas! Why will such things ever come to pass? Wednesday last week was a day of constant torrential rain, without a let-up. The downpour made it impossible for the babes to be fed, and it was excessively cold and damp. The next day brought us the tragic realisation that all the tiny ones, without exception, had perished from hunger and cold. Brad (the ranger) and my partner's boss gently lifted down the five tiny bodies (the parents had gone, we know not where) and laid them to rest at the edge of the woods.

There are some dangers from which even I cannot protect the innocent. Their loss affects me deeply - but, dear reader, do not weep for them. They are gone over to a better place, where the predators never have to be feared and the food is always plentiful. I will miss those little tinkers though.

And so another week begins. I wonder what this one will bring....?

Good night.
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