Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The Decoy

Operation Mozart’s Magic Flute has been a blinding success up to now, as the early summer vegetation encloses and envelopes the badger sett, so it is completely hidden from all view; this is to such an extent that one can sometimes hardly find it one’s self. This morning the dogs, Mitch and Shep, and myself went off to plough up the last length of track leading up to the beech wood, just to make life as awkward as possible to any fly-by-night snipers that might just stray into the neighbourhood. The plan was to cut the grass first and then go over it with the plough; all that was needed was a low profile, speed and a fair dose of stealth. Simple, you might think, but as with so many a plan, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. After about an hour, the job being almost complete, I noticed a group of three or four people further down the track followed by another small group. ‘Heavens they’re too close!’ I thought. Typical, when you can do without seeing any one, you see them all. The hikers, who had strayed from the beaten track, seemed to be captivated. I climbed down from the tractor and plough. ‘What are they all looking at?’ I mused; they all appeared to have their cameras out snapping quite furiously a hundred or so yards down the track, strange but how very fortunate. ‘Whatever it is taking their fancy it’s kept them away from us,’ I thought. I whistled up the dogs, Shep came along over but no Mitch. I whistled again and then looked back off down the track towards the other tractor and cutter where the group of people seemed so captivated. Lo and behold, it was Mitch causing the spectacle! There he was, sat as proud as punch and rearing to go atop the cutter! I chuckled as he has always been one to be at the centre of attention. Or was he just the greatest decoy ever? The badgers and I reckon it’s the latter.

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