Home » A humbug no more

A humbug no more

It’s been a funny old week with a few surprises thrown in, but before I come to them, I have a few tales I’d like to tell you.

A couple brought two birds into the rescue a few days ago and told us the following story. Apparently they have two broody old hens who no longer lay eggs and instead have taken to sitting on stones. Their neighbour, a farmer, asked them if they would like a couple of chicken eggs for the hens to sit on, which they gladly accepted. Well, the broody old hens were thrilled and sat dutifully on their respective eggs until they hatched…..



And out popped a couple of turkeys! Lucky escape for them this Christmas eh?

They’ve settled in wonderfully.


Now, y’see this hamster? Well, a woman came in looking to adopt a hamster so had a hold of this one, which promptly bit her. Instead of complaining the woman merely looked at it and said, “So, the red eye shows it’s dark side then?” and adopted it anyway. I’ll miss this little guy as she’s such a character.She’s been pulling the wool over our eyes for months. Every time we feed her she piles the entire bowl of food into her cheeks and creeps off and then spits it all out in her nest. Then another member of staff trots along and fills up the bowl again thinking someone has forgotten to feed her! Just look at the size of her cheeks in this pic…..two bowls of food in there!


Baby gerbils

This week eleven gerbils were brought in. A guy with severe learning disabilities had bought a pair of them in a pet shop and of course they immediately began to multiply. One gave birth the day it came in so now we have fourteen, and it’s likely that all the other females are pregnant, so we’ll probably end up with about thirty.  I simply cannot understand why anyone would sell an animal to somebody who is clearly unable to care for it….some pet shops are totally unscrupulous….

It’s also that time of the year when people start to dump their pets, so many animals are abandoned at Christmas. A few days ago somebody threw two dogs over the back fence, into the farm. Fortunately all the farm birds were secure for the night, but sadly, the sheep weren’t. One of the dogs attacked the Jacobs sheep and could have killed it but luckily a member of staff called in late and heard the ruckus. The outcome here could have been so much worse, some of the pigs are huge and could easily kill a dog, or the dogs could have broken a leg in the fall. I shudder to think what could have happened to the geese, chickens etc if the dogs had got in their pens.Last year somebody threw a pregnant whippet over the wall and that dog did break it’s leg. I don’t understand the mentality of these people at all….

Right….now I’ve shown you the gerbil babies, I’d love to show you some pics of the mice nurseries I’ve been telling you about. I came across a nest this week with babies of all sorts of ages in it…unbloomingbelievable!!! Whizz past these pics if you get all shuddery…..apologies again, lol, and I PROMISE, no more mouse pics, well……until I start the big clean up!



Seriously….look at the pinkies on the bottom right and the SIZE of the babies on the top!!!


This is the new nest I made, can you see the little pinkies underneath the ones just starting to get their fur? I must have put thirty mice back in the new nest…the bigger ones were running all over the place, but I did manage to catch them all in the end.

Humbug bracelet

Humbug bracelet

Ahhh…yes….now for the SURPRISES!!! I’ve had a permanent grin on my face this week. Yesterday, I received a most UNEXPECTED gift, I came in from the cold and found a mysterious parcel waiting for me, and when I tore it open I found this delightful little bracelet from Nikkipolani  I was enchanted. I’d complained about being a Christmas humbug in my last post, and now Anne had sent me a humbug bracelet …laughed out loud I did!!!! What a TREAT! Thanks SO much Anne!!!! I still can’t stop smiling!

And on top of this Glo wrote a simply wonderful poem about my last post. It’s all about the hedgehog woman, actually Glo, I always come in covered in straw and shredded paper, hubs is forever plucking hay from my hair!!! I must say I howled laughing reading it, and loved the little graphics added to the lounge image….I have printed it off and shall pull it out each year with my Christmas decorations!!! So, with so much to smile about, how can I remain a humbug…..I simply HAD to get the deccies out…..



 It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas….


 The kitchen is twinkling…


As is the dining room….and I’ve even bought the odd present…..

Y’see how you’ve inspired me gals?????

52 Responses to “A humbug no more”

  1. nikkipolani says:

    Hooray! It’s made it across the pond! Glad to take part in bringing big grins to your face :-) I was completely delighted with Glo’s poem (that woman is a genius) and pleased to hear that you were, too. Have I mentioned that she is a genius??

    The tiny mice are terribly cute, but I agree with you that having thirty or so of them scampering (and multiplying indiscriminately) is not a good idea. I smiled at the thought of those broody hens hatching a couple of turkeys! Goodness.

    And your home is looking very Christmassy. Though I must say that your kitchen is one to envy — all that counter space! Beautiful.

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol ….yes, something real in a virtual world….how wonderful!!! Glo….oh yes, I agree re her being a genius, amazing way with words that girl has!

      I think that nest has to be the biggest I’ve come across to date, there must have been at least five or six different age groups there….astonishing!

      We are lucky having such a large kitchen, but often it’s just more counters to mess up!!! Thanks Anne.xxx

  2. rusty duck says:

    I am there with you in the humbug stakes. But today I’ve even bought a tree. Oh gawd. Green, mind… it has roots. I’ll try and keep it alive and have it for next year too.
    Love those turkeys!

  3. Glo says:

    More fascinating stories from your Refuge life, and some great and funny ones at that, except for the dogs…really unbelievable. My gosh, the amount of baby mice are mind boggling ~

    Your house looks beautifully festive and so happy to hear the sparkling bracelet lifted your spirits! Mine did, too :)

    • Snow Bird says:

      The mouse problem does need resolving Glo, they are such interesting little critters though, but come the new year they’ll have to move to the farm, but there’s still lots of food and shelter for them there. Glad you love your bracelet too. Thanks Glo.xxx

  4. Glo says:

    Eeps! I was so dumbstruck by the number of mice, but now I’m back to thank you for linking to my poem and for the kind words by Nikki ;) So glad you enjoyed the poem, and I’m not surprised that you you need straw-plucking every so often when you work in such surroundings ;)

  5. elaine says:

    I find it quite upsetting when you relate stories of animals being thrown over the fence – no matter what the circumstances, animals especially dogs who are usually devoted to their owners, should be treated with some humanity – thank goodness there are people like you who treat every living thing with kindness.

    You are further along than me with Christmas decorating – if you’ve got a minute you could come and try and get me into the festive mood.

    • Snow Bird says:

      Sorry I upset you Elaine. Random cruelty happens far too often and like you I will never get used to it. Whoever threw those dogs over the fence must have heard the sheep and pigs but they simply couldn’t care less. As you say dogs bond with their owners and are loyal to the end, unlike a lot of people. I’ve heard it said that a dog is the only animal that loves it’s owner more than itself.

      I don’t think anyone has the right to inflict suffering and pain on a living creature.

      Ah….but you have bought ALL your presents…..on my way round with mulled wine and delicious nibbles……oh and a choir of angels to sing for you…..will that do the trick????. Thanks Elaine.xxx

  6. I just can’t understand how callous some people are.They lack empathy. I guess this is a personality trait for those who go on to inflict damage on humans too.

    Sorry still a Humbug here.

    • Snow Bird says:

      I do agree with you Sue, it’s a well documented fact that all killers began by killing and torturing animals. Some people do lack empathy and see animals almost as a commodity or an ornament……disposable.

      Lol….you are a hard core humbug for sure…..you’ve outdone me!!! xxx

  7. Flighty says:

    It saddens me when I read about animals being dumped at any time but it’s always seems worse at this time of year.
    Good to see that you’re a humbug no more, thanks to Glo and Nikki.
    Lovely post and terrific photos as always. xx

    • Snow Bird says:

      I agree re the animals Flighty, each Christmas the numbers of unwanted pets triple and many are just dumped. We’ve even had dogs abandoned in the lane outside which is on a busy road.

      Lol…..yes, my humbug days are now over! Thanks …

  8. Jenny says:

    I’m glad you’re feeling less humbuggy. I loved the story of the turkeys, that must have been quite a shock to both the hens and the owners!

  9. Jo says:

    I was smiling reading about the turkeys who’ve had a lucky escape being passed off as hens before birth and the hamster who has obviously found a very loving home if her new owner is willing to put up with her biting, but then I came to the bit about the dogs, so sad. All I can say is that I’m so glad there’s so many happy outcomes at the rescue as stories such as this one are just so heartbreaking. How can anyone just dump a living creature with no thought for it or others which it may harm, I just don’t know. Those mice nurseries are amazing, I’ve never seen anything like that before, so many generations all living together in one nest. Glo’s written a wonderful poem, she’s so clever with words and I think she’s totally captured your post. I still haven’t got my decorations up, this weekend, hopefully.

    • Snow Bird says:

      Those turkeys are so lucky, as is that naughty little hamster . I’m surprised the farmer couldn’t tell the difference between the eggs though, turkey eggs are huge compared to chicken eggs.
      I’m glad the dogs are with the rescue now, they are probably better off if their owner is prepared to treat them like that. It’s infuriating to see them treated like that Jo….like you I can’t understand it. Thankfully no damage was done as the sheep wasn’t hurt too badly, but if they had got in with the birds they would have killed the lot…..

      The mice are so interesting aren’t they, I suspect they keep their babies together to stop the latest top man mouse from killing them, which they do. There is always a mother or two present in the nursery which is why they collect the babies so quickly from the new nests I make. Excellent mothers mice are.
      Glo is such a talented gal for sure…..the words flow from her lips!
      Good luck with the deccies….they are nice once they are up.xxx

  10. Scarlett says:

    See, I told you I could see the mouse nurseries on here!! Haha! It’s certainly looking very christmassy here now! We live in a little grotto x

  11. Kitty says:

    Everything’s looking cozy and festive, from mice babes to your sweet, lovely home. Just beautiful…and magical!

    Wow, Dina! I’m glad your colleague managed to corral the dog, but sorry to hear people are tossing dogs over fences and are so eager to “rid” themselves of sweet creatures. Sigh. Glad you’re all there, welcoming them to new life. :)

    Joy to your season and your merry heart!

    • Snow Bird says:

      It’s unbelievable how people can so easily ditch a family pet, but they’re probably much better off without owners like that!
      Thanks Kitty, a wonderful festive season to you too..xxx

  12. Kitty says:

    PS: The turkeys won’t be eaten, will they?

  13. Snow Bird says:

    Oh good grief….no, they’ll live their life on the farm unless we can re-home them to someone well known to us. These are the lucky ones! xxx

  14. It is always such a great joy to read your posts….I can see a lovely book full of your short stories with illustrations:) Oh yes, I can……

    Love the story about the turkeys hatching, and all the rest…..and on a more sombre note, yes, how stupid can some people be….

    I am a bit of a humbug myself, and so maybe reading your post will get my spirits up:) Keep all the good work up….what you do is amazing.xxxx

    • Snow Bird says:

      Ahhh Janet….how I wish!!! Maybe one day I’ll give it a shot and we can both work on the illustrations!
      Those turkeys must have really freaked the broody old hens out!
      Lol….no more the humbug….for this year anyway. Hope you get your Christmas mojo soon. Thanks Janet. xxx

  15. Wendy says:

    Wonderful story about the Turkeys – how did the Hens and Turkeys take to each other with their strange family relationship? And I love the crafty Hamster!
    It is so very sad about the cruel treatment of animals. It’s one thing I’m always upset about. I’m just so glad that your rescue is there to care for some of them.
    Your house looks lovely and cosy and Christmassy. Still no decorations here yet – I’m very behind this year. Must get going!

    • Snow Bird says:

      Well…the hens cared for their HUGE babies for four months…then the turkeys tried a few great escapes and the lovely couple could no longer contain them, hence they came to us. The couple actually adore them and have even visited them to make sure all is well!

      Animal cruelty is so repulsive isn’t it….you do get sick to the back teeth of the endless repetition of abuse, but at least they are safe once in the rescue.
      Get those deccies up gal…..I’ve finally done my Christmas cards! Thanks Wendy.xxx

  16. Jason says:

    I’m glad the hamster was adopted, but that red eye is a little disconcerting.

  17. Great post and pics. Great variety of anima/ bird life. The festive season is getting into gear up your way.

  18. Susanne says:

    Smart little hamster, that one. I’m sure she’ll provide many fun times for the lady who adopted her. What a sweet thing for Anne to do. Brought a smile to me just reading it. Your house is looking wonderfully warm and inviting for Christmas.

    • Snow Bird says:

      That hamster will outwit every person it comes across! Ahh, yes, Anne is a real sweetheart, she had me smiling for sure. So unexpected too. Y’know, I think candles are what Christmas is all about. I have them all year round, but double the amount at Christmas. Thanks Susanne.xxx

  19. karen says:

    I aways enjoy reading your posts. Inspiring as usual and your mice pics make me wonder if we have a family or two in our garage! I won’t be disturbing them wherever they are hiding. Although I suspect in some garden furniture cushions we don’t use anymore. what a surprise about the turkeys.

    Christmas looms, your home looks so cosy and welcoming. Have a great christmas and I wish you much success for 2014 xx

    • Snow Bird says:

      Hi Karen, nice to hear from you and know you like the posts. That’s always a lovely thing to hear, especially as I think I’m rambly and boring.
      I suspect you’re right, mice LOVE cushions and can get in any garage man has ever built.
      Lol…the hens must have got a shock, but they loved their babies anyway. Reminds me of cuckoos.
      Thanks for your good wishes, I send them right back to you and yours….with a big hug thrown in.xxx

  20. menhir1 says:

    I’m delighted hamster found a home. Seems like a cheeky little fellow.

    The story of ye olde hens popping out turkeys is a really good one.

    What will you do with the multiplicity of mice that you have? What type are they?

    I see you have caved in to the joys of the season. Enjoy! xx

    • Snow Bird says:

      That hamster is a genius…..most devious and entertaining,….I shall miss it! Lol…poor old hens ah….so desperate they even accepted their enormous offspring….

      The mice are just common grey mice, they live outdoors but are opportunists. When I start the big clean up I suspect they’ll merely move into the farm, but their numbers will reduce outdoors as there are so many more predators.

      Have you caved in yet? Thanks Menhir.xxx

  21. godschool says:

    Another lovely post! Isn’t your hamster great with his sneaky double brekkie in his cheeks?? And I love your bracelet – what a great idea! xx

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol, he sure is, and his double lunch…and tea!!! Yes…..now I have my humbug bracelet, what more could a girl want? Thanks Gilly. xxx

  22. keggy says:

    I loved the story about the eggs hatching out and being turkeys instead of chickens ! And like you, it made me think of cuckoos too :yes:
    I hate cruelty to any creatures too. I have just discovered (via the PETA website) that there are toiletries like shower gels that sport a little rabbit symbol on them if they have NOT been tested on animals. I went out and bought one yesterday at my local health food shop. Good idea I think as I really don’t like the idea of using animals to test products. Next step is some vegan hiking boots…
    What a nice gesture of your blog pal sending you are lovely humbug bracelet. It looks good enough to eat LOL ! :))

    • Snow Bird says:

      Glad you like the turkey story Kegs, it amused me too. Yes, the rabbit symbol is great isn’t it? I can’t understand the need to test beauty products on animals we’re supposed to be moving forward yet often with animals we seem to be going backwards. Good luck with your hiking boots, mine aren’t leather but a good strong plastic which have lasted me for ages.
      It was such a lovely gesture….yes! Thanks. xxx

  23. It looks like Christmas is finally going to arrive here this weekend. We’re only 2 weeks behind our usual schedule, but, really, it just doesn’t matter. I keep gerbils in my classroom and just love them. They are such sweet, gentle creatures. Every summer one of my students adopts them and I start with new babies in the fall. I love that you rescue mice. I don’t think you’re a humbug at all! :)

    • Snow Bird says:

      Lol….thanks Casa. I love gerbils too, they are such delightful interesting creatures aren’t they. The babies are gorgeous too. Glad Christmas is finally arriving….I’m always behind! xxx

  24. DebbZie says:

    You have such a beautiful house! It’s so homey and warm and Christmassy. May I come for a visit? lol.
    I’ve never seen a hamster with different eye colours :D

    • Snow Bird says:

      Why thank you Debb,…..you are welcome anytime!!!

      I’ve never seen a hamster with one red eye either. Usually albino animals have red eyes, so maybe this hamster has a touch of albino. xxxx

  25. Caro says:

    Gosh, you’ve certainly had a week of highs and lows and seen the darker side of what people are capable of – it’s lucky that you have some lovely funny memories to offset the ones that are harder to deal with. Those mice are really sweet – I had a little brown mouse that got into my flat by accident last year (he came in hidden in a box from the shed) and, although I tried to catch him to pop him outside, he was much too fast for me! He must have found a way out eventually though as the mouse droppings tailed off. (At least that’s what I hope!) Mice do get a bad press, perhaps everyone should see a mouse nursery to see how cute they are!

    • Snow Bird says:

      Nice to hear you’re a mouse fan, I agree re the nurseries, the mice are so cute and it’s astonishing how many different age groups you find in the large nests. I totally get how fast mice are, we have no chance of catching a healthy adult, I hope yours did get out, I’m sure it did as they can negotiate the smallest of spaces. Yes, sadly we get to see the good and the bad at the rescue, yet another dog was abandoned today, Thanks Caro.xxx

  26. Jennifer says:

    I love the story of the turkeys and was distressed to read of the discarded dogs. It breaks my heart to think that someone could just throw a dog over a fence and walk away. The bracelet is lovely! What a thoughtful gift. Glad you are getting into the holiday spirit.

  27. Snow Bird says:

    Thanks Jennifer, it is awful to see dogs treated like that, we had yet another one abandoned this week, I suppose the good thing is that they eventually get re-homed somewhere where people will treat them right.
    The bracelet was such a sweet gift, I love it.xxx

  28. Can’t believe the cruelty and uncaring behaviour of people to animals…… :(

    Used to have gerbils myself…. loved them… they are wonderful…. but yes… not too many at once. And all those MICE!! Cannot imagine how you managed to catch them all ! Well done you though, for looking after them so well……And great to get a humbug bracelet from all across the ocean! There you are, inspiring people to write poems and things! Well done you for getting festive in the end. Have to say I struggled to get the decs done…. Daughter got the tree out and did it….. bet I’ll be the one taking it down though!! xxx

    • Snow Bird says:

      I can never get over the deliberate cruelty either Arose. We had a few dogs dumped over Christmas….the poor things look so confused.
      I love gerbils too, such interesting little critters…..lol….mice and I have a long history so I am now very expert re catching them.
      Y’know….daughter put most of ours up but like you I bet it’s me taking them down.xxx

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