Today is 3rd January 2008, but this happened a few days ago.
The rats were really annoying me - as bold as brass they were coming out even in the day and eating the little bits of the doves' grain/seed on the ground that had fallen through the slats in the table. Presumably they are getting hungrier as I have been clearing the table at night, and thats why they are coming out in the day.
As I watched one came out of the hedge and had a long drink at the doves' water bowl! I was filled with rage and decided I would DO something about it..... despite the fact that husband and I were in the process of discussing ways and means.
When it got dusk, I cleared the doves pans away as usual and then sat on the big table with my old dog box that I sometimes use as a doves' hospital underneath, with food in it. I thought I might be able to trap one! In my hand I held the medium sized fishing/landing net that I use for trapping doves on the ground if I need to catch them. I planned to shut the door of the dog box with it when I had trapped a rat inside!
I sat on the table, and it was pretty cold, but after a few minutes a rat came out, but maybe smelt me and just ran along inside the hedge. I waited again...... and then thought how stupid I was being. Even if I caught a rat it would only be one, and would hardly cure the problem.
I decided to go in, but I had a little heap of food in the dog box. I didn't want to put the box back in the shed with the food still in because of mice.... and the rats. I couldn't tip it out on the ground. I couldn't put it in the dustbin cos I hadn't collected it from down the lane. Of course, I could have put it in the bin inside, but I didnt think of that. Holding the box by the grille at the front with one hand and on tiptoe, I held the box over the fence so the food would tip directly into the river.
Yes, you've guessed it..... the box came away from the grille and plopped into the river, leaving me holding the grille in one hand and the landing net in the other! Damn it, I couldn't believe I'd been so silly, I didn't want to lose that box.... so running quickly out of the garden, net in hand, I made my way into the wooded area beyond the gravelled yard where we park.
I leant out over the river, holding precariously on to an ivy-covered tree and yes! there was my box bobbing along towards me. Good, I thought, I'll be able to scoop it out. As I tried to position myself the ivy suddenly ripped off the tree and I staggered but managed to regain my footing. By the time I looked again the box had disappeared; I think it went under.
I realised how stupid I was being for the sake of a £2o-30 box. If I fell in I would probably be quickly swept away and might well drown as the river is deep enough at this point and flowing swiftly and no doubt coldly! I imagined my husband coming in to a warm cottage, stew in the aga, dog curled up on the sofa and no me.... until he gets news of me being fished out further upriver, dripping and dead!
The river has gone down slightly since then, but no box..... and I am still annoyed with myself!