I’ve mentioned before that I have a problem with pheasants in my garden. They’ve proliferated over the past few months; they’re coming in from all quarters now for some reason, and they’re coming at all times of the day. They’re looking for easy food pickings on the bird table, of course, and therein lies the problem:
1) One pheasant will eat as much food in ten minutes as would keep the whole population of small woodland birds happy for two or three hours.
2) They leave piles of crap all over the table.
3) They stand on the water bowl and tip it up, thus soaking the food.
4) They leap off the table to the ground, often breaking plants as they do so.
5) And just to add insult to injury, they set my neighbours dogs barking.
I can’t blame the pheasants, obviously. They’re wild creatures and they’ll naturally seek food wherever it’s to be found. And there is a valid reason for questioning the rightness of feeding birds anyway, but I’m rather stuck with what I perceive to be a responsibility now.
And so, being human and fallible, I get annoyed with the pheasants and occasionally entertain unkind thoughts – like thinking how useful it would be if a family of foxes took up residence in a nearby field.
But coming back from my walk today, I noticed a bulky form lying by my gate. It was a dead cock pheasant, presumably a road kill. I imagine it was heading for my bird table and didn’t make it. I hate the fact that we kill animals with cars, and so I felt sad and guilty. I wished it well for its next incarnation, and told myself yet again that I really should try to be less self-centred. The business of self-improvement just goes on and on...
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On a lighter note, a car came past me on the lane today. A young woman in the front passenger seat smiled and waved. I wonder who she was.