Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Idylls of Country Life

'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
'I don't much care where - ' said Alice.
'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
' - so long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation.
'Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, 'if you only walk long enough.'
(Lewis Carroll)

Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash; that one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat (Mark Twain)

Life is too important to be taken seriously (Oscar Wilde)

Living in the Country is not as idyllic as one might imagine.
Being woken up by cows tapping is not the way I chose to re-enter the world of reality. Tapping? Yes, tapping: caused by the cow scratching its face against a metal pillar and something metal on the cow (I don’t even want to being to imagine what) tap-tapping against the post.

Then there is the Wild Life which ends up in my lounge in the early hours of the morning. And I don’t mean the drunk and disorderly lads from the local pub. I mean dismembered, deceased (or dying), dripping blood, or occasionally whole and live animals from the neighbouring field. An artfully draped bird the size of a chicken dripping blood from the shelf at the foot of the stairs, is quite a gruesome sight first thing in the morning. It causes me to shriek rather loudly and inelegantly. Perhaps that is why Izzi brings these ‘gifts’ to share with us… or perhaps she is presenting them as warnings to watch our step…   

Last week Lily was getting rather hysterical about something behind the armchair. In my wisdom, I pulled the chair back to see what was causing the consternation. Mistake! Lily dived in, grabbed the dismembered creature and made off to the garden where she starting munching on the lower torso of the freshly killed baby rabbit. I went out o take it away from her. A garden chase ensued, with me running, and shouting loudly, after Lily, who dodged round and round the garden and the shed. Now and again she would try frantically to bury the body. I finally managed to get her inside so I could dispose of the body. As I picked it up the innards slithered onto to the ground, with more flying out as I hurled the wretched half-body into the field. I had visions of the entrails flying and landing on my face and head as I threw it, making some awful noises (I did wonder what the neighbours thought). Luckily this did not happen!

Recently Lily greeted Tom and I on our arrival home most excitedly, she wanted to show us her new ‘toy’ and shook it in her mouth at us. As it was a ‘toy’ courtesy of Izzi, it caused me to shriek (again). I asked, “Is it a real, live rabbit??!” Tom calmly answered that it was no longer a live rabbit. Much to Lily's displeasure, he had to remove and dispose of the tiny dead body. She is never quite sure, I think, whether to take the strange vociferous utterings coming from her human as signs of encouragement or disapproval... 

Although we are in the Country, we do have a main road running in front of our house. The view right outside my study window recently, in the middle of the road, was a dead fox. A tiding of magpies swooped down and started snacking on the carcass, right in front of me! I had always thought magpies were herbivorous, but obviously not.

I find it all rather traumatic. Nothing charming, serene or tranquil about this rural life!