Sunday, 28 July 2013

Wildlife and Speeding Michelin Don’t Mix.

We’ve just been on the receiving end of some very welcome rain.  The grass and trees are certainly in need of it. 
As I was saying a couple of weeks ago, I had a “To do” list which is still here but not quite as long, so it still means working seven days a week to get on top of it.  Mind you, the light is very much being seen at the end of the tunnel.
As I travelled along the road this morning to work, the country lane verges were still very much sodden with water from yesterday’s evening deluge and for those of you who have studied young pheasants with their mothers, they don’t much care for getting soaked in the long grass, so after rain you very often see them in the middle of these country roads.  After negotiating a few groups of pheasants my path was then hijacked by a hare that had just ran out of a gateway and was now running up the middle of the road in front of me looking all nimble and fast.  It never ceases to amaze me just how graceful a hare is in full flight.   You can never get round these “Road Hoggers” so you have to sit patiently behind them with the odd honk of the horn which helps, until they eventually see the error of their ways and run off the road into another opening.  All these animal orientated obstacles had been successfully handled when in the distance going up the opposite side of the road, was quite a large lumbering hedgehog.  With these blighters you have to be even more careful because they go just where they want to go, totally unpredictable.  The landrover was knocked down into second gear as the hedgehog stopped and so did I.  Just then a car being driven in the opposite way had a speed of what seemed to be a formula 1 racing car, I quickly turned up onto the verge to avoid hitting him. It was a warm morning so my window was down and as he approached I put my arm out waving to him.  He almost took this as a sign to go faster, and as the vehicle went by I could sense that he was trying to slow the machine down.  I looked back to the road, the hedgehog had been flattened, just then the car came to a halt and the chap got out of it and he was effing and blinding at me for having the gall to gesticulate at him over his speed.  After the hair dryer treatment he then walked round to his off side front tyre.  For a split second I thought what a lovely car he was driving compared to the old beat up landrover I was in, “but I have no need for speed” I thought.  Momentarily, I was gob smacked by the cavalier, arrogant attitude of this total buffoon.  Not once had he looked back at the squashed hedgehog and shown not a seconds remorse for his actions.  While he was looking at his tyre cursing, I got out of the landrover and walked up the road to put the dead hedgehog in the hedge off the road.  As I returned to my landrover the man was walking towards me.  “That bloody hedgehog has punctured my tyre,” he said, “and I’ve got no spare.”
“So?”  He looked at me and gave me a sickly smile. 
“We’ve got off on the wrong foot, I’m terribly sorry, I am in a desperate hurry as I have a train to catch.”
“A leopard never changes its spots,” I thought, I then said to him, “The nearest garage is five miles away.  These little lanes are terribly quiet on Sundays so there might not be another vehicle along this road for some time.”
“Exactly,” he eagerly said.   He then went to get into the passenger side of my landrover.
“Oi” I said, “Next time you are charging along these roads, give a thought to other road users and the wildlife that use them also.  You are not the only one who has things to do, in future get up half hour earlier, you have behaved like a cretin and I hope you miss your train.  Cheerio.”

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