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Articles By Mike Rooth

Tightfisted Pete, Hedgehogs, and Kestral Hawk

Since.in this land fit for fools to live in,the summer is now over(all six weeks of it),those things wot 'ibernate, sensible creatures,are beginning to do so.One such was found by my wife last night at the farm,when clearing up the hay store,preparatory to having some more delivered tonight.To whit,one hedgehog.Now you would think that any "country" kid had seen a hedgehog,but no,it transpires that these(very) young ladies had not.Of course,it was curled up into the ysual hedgehog non-communication mode,i.e a tight ball of prickles."Where's its head?" asked one young lady.Since it was beginning to twitch,I pointed out the likely end for the head,and described what the face looked like when the creature was in normal,or ambulatory mode.

Silence.
"Where's its bum?"
I replied.
"Yeuk,that's sick!"

My comment to this was that it might well be sick to her, but its life and death to the hedgehog.And anyway,as far as I knew,hedgehogs dont fart.At least,not when they are curled up.And asked her how dogs greeted each other. NOT by touching noses.
Kids.

Seems to be the season for stray wild things.I was greeted the other night,again at the farm,by cries of "Mike,come and do something about this!"."This" proved to be a young Kestrel hawk,which was sitting on a wheelbarrow,looking dozy.Transpired that the bird had been found sitting on someone's stable half door.It also transpired,MUCH later I might add,that a young German girl had knocked it off said door.Hmmm.Put it inna box,and sent it to a bird sanctuary.Who diagnosed it as having a possible broken wing,and suffering from shock.Not surprised, really,it having been thumped round the ear'ole by some oversized Brunhilde.
Kids.

On the same evening,up rolls Pete,in his '67 88".He has,as I have stated,a similar problem with regard to his indicator warning light,to me.Always makes me a bit pig-sick when Pete rolls up in that motor.Four hundred quid,is all it cost him! I ask you!MOT for Pete at the end of the month.Now Pete NEVER spends a quid when twenty pence will do.Nor twenty pence if there's a freeby going.Mention *buying* something,and an expression of exquisite pain crosses his face.So I gave him the photocopies of the circuit diagrams.Turns out he's got to renew the back bushes on the rear springs."Not difficult" says I,gleefully condemning him to hours of filthy struggling with very old bushes.Whereupon he says to me"Ah,you wouldnt have any secondhand ones lying about,would you?"
YoubloodyWHAT?"Well,you *said* you'd put new ones in".
"The fucking things are only about two quid each NEW!"

Pain.I could *see* his face wrinkling with it.Means a major operation on his wallet."And use genuine ones,too,they're only about twenty pee more each" Agony.Utter misery.MORE money."Yeah,I know,but I thought if you'd got your old ones lying about,they'd do for now".
I wasnt letting him off the hook."No,I *destroyed* 'em Pete, AND you'll have to do the same with yours,in case you were thinking along the lines of putting 'em back later".

And d'you know,the bugger *was*.I could tell by looking at him. What's even more annoying,is that he probably will,and will equally probably get away with it.Still,I've got the last laugh.I've had a look at those bushes.There's nowt wrong with 'em.Pass the MOT piece of cake.But I'm not telling him. well,not 'til he's changed 'em anyway.

 

   
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