Sunday, March 24, 2013

Death Comes - The New House Episode #5

Wild Rabbit
Wild Rabbit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Two reports sound in the morning air, flat and dull.  The rabbits bolt for hedgerow hideaways leaving two of their number lifeless behind them.  Dogs come for the dead, one whippet, one lurcher, unceremoniously snatching up the corpses and returning them to their green clad waiting masters.  They are deposited next to cages of ferrets who writhe and chitter in excitement and blood-lust.  It is morning on the moors of Yorkshire, and death has come calling.

Kyle turns out to be a nice chap.  He's hunting the fields with the farmers' permission and explains that the two shotgun blasts we heard will be the only gunfire.  Once the rabbits have been put to ground by the guns it is the work of ferrets and purse nets.  The ferrets enter the warrens eagerly and if the hunters have judged correctly the rabbits will be flushed into the nets where they can be despatched with a swift blow.  The rabbits though have more holes than the ferreters have nets, many of the flushing attempts end with rabbits making fast dashes from one open hole into another part of the hedge bottom.

The hunters take several rabbits during the morning, and Kyle says he's going to tackle the mole problem if farmer Stephen wants him to.   Wandering lines of mole hills stud the fields round about, a rampant black infection disrupting the already thin early spring grazing.

That evening though, rabbits are once again busy in the field edges and making scampering runs into the more open spaces.  Their numbers may have been lessened, but they remain unbowed by their losses, going about their business of eating, mating and re-populating the burrows.

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