Canada is brimming with all manner of creatures, large and small. But mainly large. They have the capacity to stop the traffic, and they often do. It is as if the entire effort of our human civilisation has passed unnoticed in this wild part of our planet. Quite rightly so!
God has created Canada in his image – no doubt about that. The Canadian mountains carry themselves with dignity. They are simply magnificent: ancient, rocky, covered with a thick blanket of impenetrable forests. They sit in splendid silence, letting Nature do her talking.
The Canadian Lakes are equally majestic. They are filled with spirits and dead souls, hiding dark secrets within their depths. Legends are told about them, passed from generation to generation. Some are sacred and you don’t have to be told to know that. You can sense it.
I am delighted to inform the world that our resident lone-ranger Pigeon has a girl-friend!
He used to live on the ground, waddle about aimlessly, picking up leftovers from under the tree feeder, dropped by other airborne birdies. You could say he suffered from depression and low self-esteem, as any overweight, lonely pigeon would.
But no longer!
Pigeon has been seen whispering a sweet-nothing into a lady-pigeon’s ear on top of a wall, observed jealously by a blackbird. There was also some canoodling and a couple of mounting attempts. Oh dear, I hope they are taking suitable precautions!
Jealous blackbird applying to join hatch.com
And look! There are plenty of fish in the sea, or hot birds in the sky, as the case may be:
It is a constant battle between Dog and Husband. Husband wants to eat his dinner. Dog, too, wants to eat Husband’s dinner. Husband is not having the bitch have it her way (yes, the dog is actually a bitch, or to put it nicely, she is a girl-dog). So the battle of wills commences…
At first Dog approaches Husband in a casual manner.
Dog:’Daddy, why don’t we share your dinner?’
Husband: ‘I don’t think so.’
Then it becomes more forceful. Dog: ‘Come Dad, don’t be selfish! Look at me, you bugger!’
Slowly it transforms into blatant begging. ‘Daddy, daddy, spare me a chunk of beef! Pleeeeaaase… I’ll love you forever!’
Husband: ‘Go away, Dog! It’s MY dinner!’ As an only-child, Husband is unfamiliar with the idea of sharing his property.
Finally Dog adopts a new approach. She begins to look rather faint and dizzy.
Dog: ‘Daddy, I fear I may faint … I’m starving… If I don’t make it, Daddy, you can have my toy bone. If only I got a morsel off your plate, I could just make it…’
Husband won’t surrender his dinner. It’s a matter of life or death for him. For both of them. But that’s only until the last crumb is polished off the pate. Then they are friends all over again.
We went to Ambleside and ended up in a cave – it was much closer and my little feet wouldn’t carry my heavy bottom any further. Rydel Cave isn’t any odd hole in the ground – it’s huge and vibrating with echo made by water plopping from the ceiling. One thing on my mind: would it cave in when I was there; that’s what caves do, they cave in; that’s why they’re called caves. So I was slightly apprehensive and very respectful of the old cave.
On our way to the cave we came upon a couple of very rude hissing swans. They were either hissing or telling us outright to “Pissss off!”. I couldn’t quite make out which.
House moved! From the outside – picture perfect. Just take a look at it. Okay, not all of it belongs to us, but we belong to all of it.
The views are to die for, too. Daughter’s bedroom overlooks charming little paddocks housing two frisky ponies (believe me – they are frisky and shameless!), two sheep (both staring into space with a spark of deep thought in their sheepish eyes) and other creatures large and small.
Our bedroom overlooks a tree in our small garden where blue tits, robins and one extremely fat pigeon compete for seeds. Law of the jungle out there, but the blue tits rule supreme, maybe because the obese pigeon finds it hard to take off so has to content with the crumbs that fall from the bird feeder above.
The house has plenty of character – I would even go as far as saying that it isn’t only character it has – it’s ATTITUDE. Yes, the house has a serious attitude problem. To start with, it has a small population of woodlice who climb in through the vines outside and into our bathroom, wherefrom they spread like wild fire until they are captured. Once captured they instantly fall on their back, belly up, and play dead (or perhaps they are really dead). They get hoovered. Probably there is a whole woodlice colony inside our hoover.
We’ve also experienced out first flood, courtesy of Daughter who left the weird tap in her bathroom dripping until it conquered the sink, water overcoming it, spilling to the floor and travelling to the landing. From there it was re-directed to the kitchen below and trickled down the wall merrily. Awaken by the watery humming, which gave my bladder an illusion of being full, I discovered the Great Flood and raised alarm. So that’s just for starters.
There is hope however. If I remember correctly, after the Great Flood came peace and prosperity for Man. Okay, I can’t remember that far back but I read it somewhere.
I think all creatures large and small on my way to work have a death wish. I’ve run into dozens of suicidal badgers, pheasants and rabbits. One pheasant, I’m sure of it, just sits by the side of the road, behind a derelict old bridge, and waits for me. When he sees me approach he ventures right under my wheels, his head and tail down, his gait measured. He refuses to take off and fly away – just crosses the road without a zebra (crossing) in sight.
A couple of black birds have it for me, too. It looks like a game of Russian roulette to me as they glide inches in front of my windscreen, trying my patience.
I won’t mention the badger who really should consider a dieting regime. He couldn’t outrun a snail and yet he takes me on – me in my car, he on his four legs, waddling along.
Moving on to the rabbits – frankly, they’re just taking the piss and I won’t be held to account if one day one of them just slips and is sucked under my fender. They hop mindlessly without any regard for road safety. On their heads be it!
But the trophy goes to that hapless deer (with no antlers). He just strolls in front of the car and stands there, gazing me in the eye evenly, not a care in the world! Once the three of us stood there in the middle of the road, wondering who would make the first move: the deer, me and the guy driving a tractor on the other side of the road. The deer won.