Monday, 15 April 2013

Cu Ru

A warm, if blustery spring day. Walking in woods we came across a macabre reminder that our pastoral  notions are only part of the picture of country living. Half a dozen foxes, several squirrels, magpies and crows hanging dead from branches of trees, no doubt snared, shot or poisoned. A gamekeeper probably. Sitting a bit heavily on me, although there's no good reason for it. Culling wild animals is a necessary and legitimate part of land management, I know, but it just all seems a bit gothic.

I think it's partly that it is foxes. Lots of books I enjoyed as a child (such as 'Vulpina', 'Fantastic Mr Fox' and 'The Hounds of the Morrigan') featured foxes as central protagonists, and often as clever, resourceful and loyal. So I guess the emotional attachment engendered by that leads to some sort of moral qualm on my part which is absent for other creatures. Certainly the squirrels didn't quite have the same effect...I guess they have worse PR...

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