Thursday, 4 February 2010
This morning was foggy and damp, fortunately the cloud cover combined with a lack of wind, meant that it felt quite warm.
We three drove to school, the view from Clee Hill reduced to a few metres. Although I was concentrating on the spellings for tomorrow's tests I still deftly avoided several static sheep in the road. They are very hard to see in the fog!
Along a country lane we met some regulars; a pack of approximately 50 hunting hounds and their young handlers who bore Indiana Jones-style whips. Being new to rural practises I'm not so sure that these dogs, often pictured on placemats beside red coated riders, are able to hunt foxes anymore. I think they're used to follow scent, artificially dragged across the fields.
My daughter observed them, deliberating in her mind before asking a question. She wanted to know what the dogs were for. I explained, as neutrally as possible, about their previous role. She was quiet before delivering her judgement: She didn't like the idea of the dogs chasing and killing the fox, she thought it better to shoot him, less cruel. Mr. Fox doesn't come out of the debate very well does he? Her response has come about because her friend at school has just lost all her chickens. While the fox took just one chicken to eat, it killed the remaining 11! I don't understand this senseless and recurrent trait.
My daughter is changing rapidly. Growing up fast. I'm pleased to say she has rejected the Disney Channel and isn't interested in fashion, but she's eying up the tenant ponies in our paddocks and has an opinion about everything. She looks like one of the beautiful girls I didn't dare play with at my convent school, except she is kind and generous. As we continued our conversation about hunting the five year old listened, taking it all in, but he didn't say a word. He'll question me later when he's in the bath or worse, on the loo, that's his style.
Our 9 chickens roam freely. I've just been cleaning the coop and replacing straw along the muddy path that leads to their home. I collected up 5 new eggs and remembered to say thank you. The chickens kept me company hoping I'd find them a worm or two and occasionally I do. These trusting feathered friends, rescued from their battery prison, are very dear to me now so here's fair warning: Foxy-Loxy you'd better not come near my brood!
My view on hunting seems to be changing because of my location and circumstance and I'm surprised by this. Maybe all our opinions are purley based on circumstance?