Wild animals: part the second


Hark ye to this, doubters. Tooting is the Forest of Bloody Arden and the fauna is reclaiming its hood. So at the last update the humans had thwarted the squirrels, given up on the pigeons and were maintaining a low-level but burning dislike of the foxes. And that was where matters stood, until Saturday morning.

Friday night had been spent with a particular lovesome mix of former colleagues and good eggs at a leaving drinks – mine actually – but we’ll come to that another time. Much Guinness had been enjoyed, to the extent that on Saturday I was forced out of bed because I was dreaming that I had a migraine. As a non-sufferer of the megrim, I gathered that this was a portent of hangover horrors in wait. It was.

Down the stairs I sighed, heading for a can of Pepsi (four for a quid in Lidl, lifesavers hangoverwise) and a pause in the garden in the hopes that a breeze would disperse the pestilence fugging the neural pathways. Flatmate was zipping about the garden and we chatted about the seedlings and how they were looking/standing up to the ravages of the fox. Ah, he observed. Funny you should say that — this with the beady look of a man bearing unwelcome news — because we have an ex-fox behind the shed, and it seems to have puncture wounds.

There was a pause while this sank in. No, no, I really wasn’t able to cope, and moreover, there was a good chance I’d be sick if I had to look at it. Anyway, Matt was being Dream Flatmate and sorting it out by phoning the council. Though from a vantage point of hearing only 50% of the conversation, it sounded remarkably like someone being shunted along a circular telephonic path from RSPCA, to parks police, to the EPA, to Wildcare (who?), to the council and back to the parks police. Merrily merrily on he phoned, listening to recordings about how very closed the offices were over the holiday weekend. All of which gave me time to ascertain that 1. I had no idea what to do and 2. If we waited until Tuesday that thing would be fox soup.

I pushed No. 2 out of my head and ambled back to the kitchen to try some tea and toast. Wanly pulling open a drawer to reach for the honey, discussing fox-disposal options over my shoulder, I turned to see that the honey, not to mention everything else in the vicinity (and under the stairs, it transpired) was covered in fresh mouse shit. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrgh.

Within 30 minutes the place was scrubbed with soap and bleach, poison was put down and the corpse? Well, that’s disappeared. My flatmate didn’t tell me and I don’t ask. It’s better that way.


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