Friday, 19 December 2008


The neighbour's boy just drove over to borrow some bread flour. As he walked up the path he saw a long furry thing on the lawn. It was a ferret. We watched it undulating exploratively round the garden, looking like a hairy U-bend.

I'm glad he saw it too, or I might have doubted my sobriety.

There was a stoat living under one of the sheds earlier this year, but this seemed a lot larger and a lot tamer. Judging by the tail colour, it may be a polecat crossbreed, which could help with the rats that are staking out the bird feeder, but won't please the gamekeeper much. I won't tell him; less birds means fewer fat men peppering the car with falling shot. The ermine could come in useful if they ever make me a lord, though.

Hope it doesn't eat the dog.


  1. So that's what men put down their trousers? How nice to have one living wild on your doorstep. Do they eat bread and milk like hedgehogs do? (you can tell I'm not a nature child)

  2. I'm envious. To have nature red in tooth and claw a-sniffing around your doorstep... how wonderful! The best I can do is the occasional Robin Red Breast and the odd hedgehog. Not that Leamington hedgehogs are any odder than other ones...

  3. That is completely terrifying, it looks like it could easily eat a labrador - I hope your dog is a rottweiler or something. And I loved "the neighbour's boy" coming over for some "bread flour", it's like reading Laurie Lee over here!

  4. Are you sure that you and bread flour boy hadn't first downed a bottle of rum and then spotted a stuffed toy being blown around in the breeze in the garden?

  5. How cool, we only get the neightbours cats and a hedgehog or two...oh, and a nasty terrier who seems to have taken a liking to our wabbits! (He'll get his, Xmas spirit or not)

  6. Oh wow, we don't get wildlife like that here. Amazing. In fact, we don't even get hedgehogs - they are very rare in Norfolk these days. We have plenty of foxes and the odd little deer but that is about it. Well, like Steve's hedgehogs, my deers aren't odd either.

    My sons used to have these ferret toys which used to whizz around the kitchen floor - essentially fluffy tails attached to a ball. But the cat used to go crazy for them. Those were odd.

  7. Hmmm.....are they LIKELY to make you a Lord??
    I am impressed that you had Bread Flour in stock to lend,,,,,,

  8. Fancy - I'm hoping they eat rats. Luckily we no longer have chickens, because they eat those too. (I believe milk is unPC for hedgehogs now; the Nature Police advocate dog meat).

    Steve - Not what I've heard. Don't they have fewer legs? (

    Daisy - Alas the dog is small and hairy, and has been seen off by a pheasant. As for the neighbour's boy; usually he comes round for beer.

    Lulu - It's possible. But keep an eye out for 'Resident Savaged by Stuffed Toy' headlines...

    Amanda - You could try putting out a fake pheasant?

    RB - Oh yes! We had one of those. They are irresistable must-haves when you see them in the shop...but have zilch play value and soon get relegated to cupboards.

    Just me - Not a chance! (Although if 17,502 people go missing, I'll be next in line to be queen). The SS is to thank for having bread flour (she makes all of ours. The house is constantly filled with the smell of warm bread and small hairy terrier).

  9. Ermine, indeed your blog-ship! What a wonderland of homely creatures. No one loves the countryside and her fauna like you Britons . . . unless it's the Hawaiians. Thanks for a poetic little post. Great final line ;-)
    Aloha- (word verification: "farme" ;-)