Today I am on safari. In my kitchen. I am wearing khaki and trying to blend in with my environment. I stand very still and look out of my kitchen window which looks out onto my garden. it is tiny – 22 feet by 12, north facing and very dark – but what a riot of colour. Cyclamen, fuchsias, geraniums, camellias, daffodils and snowdrops. and lots of greenery. All home to a wide variety of wildlife. Birds, squirrels, mice and rats. And spiders.
We used to have a bird table just outside the window – a lovely little structure, with a little roof – a perfect little shelter and feeder for the birds. We used to get jays, magpies, robins, blackbirds and even a woodpecker once. Lots of tits and chaffinches – always a pleasure to look at. But the bird food was disappearing very fast. At first I was delighted that my little dining area was popular with our feathered friends. And then I looked. It wasn’t the feathered two legged members of the animal kingdom that were enjoying my bounty. Two extremely fat rats feasting at my expense. The bird table was removed the next day and yet the birds still kept coming. Some robins even made a nest in the hedge. And then one day in the spring what do I see but eight! Eight little ratlings gambolling on the grass. They looked so sweet. Brown and glossy with long swishy tails. But I don’t want to see them ever again.–