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Thursday 18 May 2011

The fateful day of the public meeting has arrived. I have written my presentation & even run through it a couple of times, but I shall be so glad when this evening is over. Apart from the nerves of presenting itself, I’m sure the whole event will be endless. The Wilderness Society has suspended involvement in the forestry negotiations, which may create added interest. I absolutely must get on with my marketing work today for our neighbours, to whom I feel most beholden.

I put a turkey brew on when I got back from taking Luke to the bus & sorted the scraps for the animals. Spotted Henry, our Wellsummer-rooster-with-attitude, out of the pen. After herding him into a corner & catching him, I decided I couldn’t clip his wings any shorter & instead shoved him into the fully-roofed peacock run. He won’t be getting out of there in a hurry. I left him being attacked by the peacocks & looking ruffled. There are a couple of young pullets in there so he might be happier once things settle down. I’ll move the two young roosters out of there sometime soon. Once I’m better organised, Henry can have his own little coterie of girls. But that means building more runs & proper coops.

Feeding the babies in the garage reminded me of the rat I found dead in one of my mouse traps the day before yesterday. It was the mummy rat that had bitten & led to the death of one of my little peachicks. I had thought their cage rat-proof, but it transpired it wasn’t. So I didn’t feel too much compunction when I found the rat, although we only get the rather pretty black ones here, long-whiskered & beady eyed. I was glad it had died quickly, not as a result of poison. It must have been very cunning to avoid all the bait I’d left temptingly by its runs. It had also eluded me & the dogs on the day I tracked down its neat nest & found its five helpless babies. They looked more like little salamanders than rats, with their soft grey leathery bodies. Afterwards, I couldn’t help thinking of the mum searching for them. Spending so much time with animals these days, we’ve come to realise that they have so much more depth to them than we normally imagine. We ascribe feeling & personality to our closest pets, but rarely extend it to other creatures.