I suspect I’m not the most typical chairman of school governors.  I just wrote to my colleagues and the email ended ‘Thanks so much for your contributions this afternoon, I really think you all exemplified what a governing body should be.  I have three sayings that inform and guide my life – it’ll be fine; JFDI; onwards and upwards.  Take your pick.’  I dunno, that’s the way I do things.  I can do correct, of course, but only when I have to.  They are a brilliant team, I appreciate that I went slightly too far down the informal route, but hey.  They re-elected me, they didn’t have to.

There are still various things to worry about, governing-wise, but I’m not going to get them out of proportion, because we’ll work it out.

There was something very upsetting however, just before I left for my meeting.  Ben had gone out in the morning and greeted people who’d come to see Russell, they were very taken with him and he was slightly over-enthusiastic but otherwise fine.  Russell went out, saying he’d be back before I was due to leave – I didn’t say anything but quietly invoked the rodents of disbelief, I’ve heard that before.  Half an hour before I was going out, I let Ben out for a run and went to get some lunch (leftover risotto and the last of the cheese from Ludlow, which was fairly ripe by then).  I then went to call him, and noticed the gate to the kitchen garden was open.  Well that shouldn’t have been a problem, the chickens are all shut up in the 40-foot greenhouse, but I went to investigate … and there was Ben on the lawn, looking excited, lying down with something between his paws.

it wasn’t very nice, I’ll cut it short.  Three half-grown chicks with a mother hen were in a coop and some animal had noticed the gate wasn’t secured and gone in and knocked the coop over and killed the youngsters.  Probably the mother too, she’s nowhere to be found and has probably been taken away.  Ben saw the open gate and investigated.  He couldn’t have killed them, they were cold.  But he was over-excited, it’ll take me time to get him back to the easy-going dog he was starting to become.  And the hen having disappeared makes us fear that it was a fox.  Russell rang to say he’d be late so I, having written a note for him, was able to tell him what had happened and he nearly cried, I could hear it in his voice.  I was in a similar state, we love our chickens.  Thank goodness the others are behind glass, but there’s a bit more protection we can give them – on one side, a fox could go and stare at them and try to break in, we need to do something about that.

5 comments on “Rats

  1. Mike Horner

    If it’s a fox, then John has the best answer these, post hunting, days. If it’s rats then a decent .22 AIR RIFLE (coupled with a good deal of patience) would probably be better.

  2. Z Post author

    There are far fewer foxes around now there’s no hunting, because they get shot instead. But we do have them around sometimes. Rats didn’t do it – they’re the rodents of disbelief (Saki) – sorry to mislead!

    I wouldn’t trust him with any birds, but he doesn’t try to eat one, nor even to kill it, he just runs around with the poor creature in his mouth. Some weeks ago, he brought me an egg and when he gave it to me, it wasn’t cracked. It’s a game to him, but I will keep trying to train him out of it.


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