Powerless – The Year the Lights Went Out

Thursday, January 30 – Delicious smells

More rain again today, but I made myself go up to the copse to see if the foxes had discovered their meal yet. Martin wouldn’t come and look for himself, but he kept asking if I would check. I didn’t go too close, only a couple of yards away from the body, but there was no sign yet that they had found their dinner. I suppose with this cold wet weather it simply doesn’t whet their appetites. If it was drier and warmer they would pick up the scent in no time, I’m sure.

One year an adult deer was lying in long grass on the edge of the big lawn. I became aware of it because of the awful smell – a composite of rotting cabbage and ripe Stilton – but it attracted the foxes who tore the carcass apart over a period of days until there was nothing left but a dainty hoof and some gingery tufts of hair.

It’s often struck me that we could have our own Midsomer Murders here, with the foxes as enthusiastic accomplices. A body of any kind would quickly disappear if laid out in overgrown areas where nobody goes. Whenever the hens died I used to throw them in the field for the foxes as well, but now, if the hen looked fairly healthy we wouldn’t waste it on them but would cook it and eat it ourselves. I shall tell the hens that if they don’t start being good layers soon. They aren’t earning their keep.

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