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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

corvus r us

 Ok so it's animal rescue here on this blog. After the fox cub guess what turned up on my doorstep(metaphorically speaking) - this baby rook(corvus).I suppose it's because it's that time of year when animals are having their young and the young get into trouble. I kept an eye on her all day under the rookery as she crept lower and lower on the branches until she was only a foot off the ground. I knew she wouldn't be able to get back - Branchlings as they are called - are not fed by their parents once they've descended so low. I rang the Rook Helpline - yes only in this country would there be such a thing - and they assured me that unless I took her in she would be eaten in the night - cat, fox (not mine) or RAT!!
 So in she came where she sits very happily on my laptop stand preening and cleaning herself, twisting her head to take in her surroundings as I sit by her and write or do some paperwork. Occasionally she'll stand up and flash her wings around causing all the receipts and bits of paper to fly across the table, then she settles down like an elderly Victorian dowager widow, dressed in her black garbs. She has beautiful shiney almost deep purple feathers, still with baby down on her chest and because she has no neck when she's sitting down it makes her look grumpy. I have called her Cornelia (because rooks caw} - Connie for short.
 Every two hours or so I feed her cat food or minced meat which she adores. She opens her beak, revealing a bright red interior. I'm supposed to make a cawing noise like a rook and pop the food in her gaping mouth. And dear reader - I do.
Rooks have an ability to see lots of colours - possibly more than us so I'm wondering if I ought to wear black to look like one of them. How many rooks do you see in a Save the whale T shirt?
She spends the day inside with me as they are very sociable creatures or in the shade polytunnel which is huge and safe and I hope will allow her to perfect her flying skills.



As Beezle and Bob Dylan would say "No one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky."
 For previous readers of this blog – I am happy to report that Weasel the fox is now (I hope) running free back in the county he came from. I miss him enormously, but you can’t keep such an endearing and beautiful creature like a fox in captivity and I was pleased that I could let him free before he became domesticated and unable to fend for himself. Let's hope I can do the same for Connie.

It’s so easy to slip into a fantasy of rescuing a wild animal and becoming its bestie and in the night when Weasel barked continually I had to ask myself what I was doing rushing downstairs and putting on Radio 3 for some classical music  because I thought he would like it.

Foxes, although from the same canid family as the domestic dog are not cut out to be a human companion. They are born with strong inbuilt instincts to be afraid of man and however tame you might make one, they will always suffer stress when around other people.
I clearly hadn’t thought it through properly when I gaily offered to rescue Weasel. I mean, I live on a farm – what was I going to do – take it for walks on a lead? You just can’t do that. They aren’t born to live in a house and you wouldn’t want to pen it up outside.

 Anyway – I enjoyed the short time we had together – I like to think I saved its life and hope it is fending for itself. It may fleetingly remember its time with us  if it ever hears a Mozart concerto or a Schubert piano sonata thanks to Radio 3.  I know it will be hunted – although fox hunting is purportedly banned they do still hunt foxes. As long as the hunting horn doesn’t change its tune from blowing “Gone away”, to the opening notes of the 1812 overture – it may stand a chance.
I pray for its life.

 These animals however seem to like to be domesticated
and here is Pocket (quarter Bengal) exhausted at having to do my spell check.



Black Rook in Rainy Weather

by Sylvia Plath

On the stiff twig up there Hunches a wet black rook Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain. I do not expect a miracle Or an accident To set the sight on fire In my eye, not seek Any more in the desultory weather some design, But let spotted leaves fall as they fall, Without ceremony, or portent. Although, I admit, I desire, Occasionally, some backtalk From the mute sky, I can't honestly complain: A certain minor light may still Leap incandescent Out of the kitchen table or chair As if a celestial burning took Possession of the most obtuse objects now and then --- Thus hallowing an interval Otherwise inconsequent By bestowing largesse, honor, One might say love. At any rate, I now walk Wary (for it could happen Even in this dull, ruinous landscape); sceptical, Yet politic; ignorant Of whatever angel may choose to flare Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook Ordering its black feathers can so shine As to seize my senses, haul My eyelids up, and grant A brief respite from fear Of total neutrality. With luck, Trekking stubborn through this season Of fatigue, I shall Patch together a content Of sorts. Miracles occur, If you care to call those spasmodic Tricks of radiance miracles. The wait's begun again, The long wait for the angel. For that rare, random descent.