One or two thoughts about animals, now that I live among them in The Sticks. Mice: I quite like mice. But I am going off them for two reasons. Firstly, one runs around in the ceiling at night, scuffling and jumping up and down and twanging wires and things. It is badly behaved. And secondly I took a bite out of a kit-kat the other day before realising that about 40% of it was missing and the remainder had thousands of tiny bites out of it. That too is bad. Spiders: No. Yuck. I've tried not to be afraid of them, but it doesn't work. It just makes me annoyed with myself as soon as I stop panicking. Sadly they like my barn. They should return to the fields. If they do not, I will be forced to Take Steps against them. Hopefully I will win. In the meantime they are always ruining things for me. Buzzards: Excellent. Enormous buzzards circle here most days. They are too cool to flap their wings and they regularly get attacked by much smaller birds. They circle away flinching when this happens. I suspect they are very lazy creatures. Kestrels/Angels: A while back I walked up the hill towards the local church, the sun was just passing behind the steeple, and shafts of afternoon sun were poking down into the field where I was standing. In the middle of the shafts of light was a hovering angel. Then it swooped down on the field - whereupon I could see it was only about a foot long. So it seems that hovering kestrels when dazzlingly backlit and seen from the right angle look just like angels. However it is my understanding that angels prefer to attack cities rather than field mice and generally come up at least as far as a person's knee. Muntjac deer: Not quite as majestic as the other brands of deer. The one I saw today was about two foot high and was standing on a roadside verge with its head in a hedge, presumably snacking on something, while its butt end poked out towards the cars. This is not especially dignified or impressive.
and a bit scraggly