Tuesday, 31 January 2012

End of the season.

Before I put on today's post, just a little postscript on a post a few days ago when I complained that no-one wrote letters any more. This morning, as a direct result of that blog, I had two letters - what rejoicing in the household as I returned from Tesco and coffee with my friend, to find them waiting on the kitchen table. So thank you to friend P - who I hope to meet on Friday for lunch - for communicating by letter rather than e mail or telephone and also to Fiona (Marmalade Rose) for doing the same - answering my query with a letter. It really made my day.

Now to some good news. As you will no doubt realise by now, I am no fan of people who shoot. I know that the farmer is part of a shooting syndicate - that is his choice and we agree to differ. I must admit we do eat the pheasants (well he does and friends do - I cook it but draw the line at eating it). Well today, January 31st, marks the end of yet another shooting season. Anything that is still alive tonight (it is now dark) has made it through the season and is safe for another year. So rejoicing on my part with the following little poem, hastily written.

January 31st.

The day has come.
I need no longer
fear the gun.

If I can beat the wily fox
and never cross a busy road
then I have months ahead to find
a mate, or two, or more
who'll rear their young
and teach them how
to keep their feet
on solid ground
and not fly up with guns around.

Then maybe
as the years pass by,
we'll all become so clever that
these men with guns
will have to find
another way
to pass their leisure day.

(For those who don't realise it, men with guns never shoot down, so pheasants who stay on the ground are never shot at. Towards the end of the shooting season there will always be some pheasants who run along the hedge side rather than fly up into the line of fire. I like to think that these are the clever ones who have learned how to avoid being shot. Maybe it is wishful thinking.)


MorningAJ said...

The thing with pheasants is that they were originally bred to be stupid and so easier to shoot. It would be nice to think a few are managing to raise their IQ!

it's me said...

so glad for you that the pheasant season has come to a close--waiting for our deer season to end so I can walk safely in the woods again.

a situation that won't end for me is the firing range that is now across the field--gunshots often until 11pm have turned my paradise into a war zone--all seasons of the year

Heather said...

Glad 'your' pheasants are safe for a while. Hunting and killing for sport is a difficult one, isn't it? I have written two letters and received another this week. I love keeping in touch this way, though a quick email is very handy sometimes.

Pomona said...

I am with you totally and with the pheasants. There was a lot of guns to be heard around here today - I hope all the birds managed to stay hidden up. I always write thank you letters but they are just about the only letters I send or receive nowadays.

Pomona x

John Going Gently said...

unfortunately a phesant on the ground gets woofed by the fox!!!x

Tom Stephenson said...

MorningAJ says: "The thing with pheasants is that they were originally bred to be stupid and so easier to shoot." Not true, I am afraid. The first game pheasants (Lady Eleanora, I think) were so easy to shoot that they introduced the present ones to make a more difficult shot. No body wants to shoot fish in a barrel, and using a shotgun properly takes a lot more skill than you might imagine.

Share my Garden said...

A very noisy day with us as the guns were out blasting away at whatever they could. Maisie was very loathe to take her daily walk and so it was much shorter than usual. I didn't mind, it is oh so cold at the moment.

rkbsnana said...

Hmmm. Didn't know that about pheasants.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

There's a piece of common land near me where no shooting is allowed; it fairly fills up with pheasants when the skies ring with the sound of guns.

MorningAJ said...

Well I've learned something there Tom! You mean they are just naturally gun fodder?

Crafty Green Poet said...

So glad the season is over. The more i think about it the more I think you're right about the clever pheasants being the ones who run rather than flying, and here's my having thought they were daft for that.....

Rachel Phillips said...

We shoot so that we have something for dinner. No more and no less.

steven said...

i shot one bird - a robin - when i was a little boy. that's it. nothing since. the memory of shooting that bird stays with me. steven

Dartford Warbler said...

We used to have a beautiful cock pheasant who spent the shooting season hiding out in our fields and hedges ( a gun free zone). I think the foxes got him in the end, but at least they would have killed him for dinner and not for "sport".

Tom Stephenson said...

They are naturally car-fodder, AJ, as I am sure you have witnessed. If a chicken could fly more than 6 feet, it would be called a pheasant.

Intelligent pheasants roost in trees, out of fox's way, John.

I shot a sparrow (Dunnock) when I was a kid, and have never shot a living thing since. I couldn't eat for a week, let alone sparrows...

Mary said...

It's so hard to know what is the right thing to do - being vegetarian I don't need them for food, however being overrun by some of these birds/animals does seem hunting is necessary now and then.

I'm praying the fox doesn't present us with another litter under the gazebo this Spring! New neighbors in back of us have a big dog - perhaps he'll scare the foxy parents away.