Each day, whatever the weather, I spend a little time sitting in my house of glass while the dogs gallop around my lawnless lawn. I usually have my lunch in there. I like to throw the doors open and watch whatever nature has in store for me. There is always something going on, especially if you pay attention to the little things, like a spider busying about in a corner or a frog lurking beneath the frosted leaves.
Today it’s bitterly cold again as the snows have come back with a vengeance.
Now as I sit in my little house of glass, eating noodles and toast, I find myself musing on my childhood when we lived on the top of a mountain in Wales, where I think my love of nature and animals began. Our lives are influenced by many things and I wonder if I would be the same person had I been raised in a city devoid of greenery and wildlife….
As a child, I was allowed to run wild and was, I suppose, almost feral!!! Today as I idly watch the dogs running, I find myself thinking about my older brothers’ seventh birthday. As a child he was afraid of every animal, bird and insect he clapped eyes upon. Once, he ripped his arm open trying to escape from a bull and on another occasion was almost eaten alive by stinging ants, yet still he followed me everywhere around that mountain looking for wildlife and adventure.
I digress….his seventh birthday. Now despite his fear of animals, my brother had a furry toy donkey that he carried around with him. He absolutely loved the thing and repeatedly begged our parents for a real donkey.
Now as it happened, on his seventh birthday a local farmer was about to put his donkey to sleep as he could no longer afford it’s upkeep, so my Mum, being an animal lover, decided to take it on and give it to my brother for his birthday.
You can imagine his excitement waiting for it to arrive. He was positively bouncing up and down with glee, clutching his toy donkey. Then the moment finally came. A trailer pulled up outside the front door.
Four men got out of the car and approached the trailer which was rocking back and forth really dangerously….and the most AWFUL pounding and thundering banging sounds were coming from inside.
What happened next is ingrained in my memory. The men opened the trailer and began what can only be described as a full scale battle with an enraged, red eyed, snorting, spitting, biting, kicking, bucking donkey, that had NO intention of being dragged out.
Brother stood there, watching the proceedings in abject horror. He was trembling and utterly speechless. Finally he spluttered, “That’s not a donkey, it’s a BLOODY horse, TAKE IT BACK!”
Well it didn’t go back. What it did, to my Father’s utter disgust, was to find to it’s way into our huge kitchen each evening where it would sit in front of the cooker getting a warm!!! And ….it was always sweetness and light with my Mum and I, but would spit at my brother every time he saw him, AND lash out at him with it’s back hooves often landing a sneaky blow!!!
Be careful what you wish for eh????????
Talking of musing in my house of glass, I had a brain wave there last week. Y’know my lawnless lawn that the dogs have wrecked??? Well I’ve decided to turn it into an orchid and add a few bird friendly trees like the rowan I’ve planted to the right of the trampoline, and a yew I found as a seedling, just because I like the fact that legend says it allows the veil between the living and the dead to thin……which is why the yew is often found in church yards.
And finally….I’ve just finished sowing all my wildflower seeds and once again I’m AMAZED at how tiny the seeds of giant plants are. These itsy bitsy specks will grow into Great Mullien wildflowers that are over 6 foot tall…….A good lesson for life eh??? From the smallest of ideas and thoughts great things can emerge…..