|Mr & Mrs Pheasant. In their pomp - Early April|
Comrade Foy recently wrote a nice, witty blog post about a wounded woodpigeon. Unfortunately, this year we have not been so fortunate. Yesterday B called me into our back garden as she had spotted a dead blackbird in the back border. This has been the fourth casualty.
On two occasions, greenfinches have flown into our conservatory windows and died.
Two months ago, I heard a very loud crash against the kitchen window. I went out to look and found Mrs Pheasant dead under the roses. B came out and we had a discussion as to what to do with the corpse. This is a large, meaty piece of game, a real shame to waste it but we are townies, we don't know how to dress a bird, how to pluck, gut and hang game. B had an idea. At her stables, there are lots of country folk who would have the necessary skills, she would put a message on the stables' Facebook page. Sure enough, within ten minutes some one had claimed the bird.
Last Monday, I travelled over the hills to visit my parents in Cheshire. I was telling them about the passing of Mrs Pheasant and my father said we should have asked him to dress it. He were a lad during the War and did not see service. He does not talk about the War very often but this time he told how his cousin was the Butchery Manager at the local Co-op store, responsible for ensuring the rationing regime was complied with but that the cousin was always on the lookout for a few extra shillings. He had a flock of chickens and my father had to look after them after school. On occasion this would involve the demise of a bird and my father learnt how to ring a neck and pluck and dress the bird. What he did not say was whether the bird was eaten by the family or went into the black market where it would have a good price tag. A nice little bit of history from my father.
Mr Pheasant continues to visit our garden for lunch, just not so frequently or noisily.