If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Mike was up in the garage last week, trying to find more plastic sheeting for the spray painting of the bookcase. Bicycles, garden furniture and miscellaneous paraphernalia were piled onto the drive as the search progressed. You know how it is when you think you’ve got something safely stashed away somewhere, but just can’t find it? Anyway, in the midst of the confusion, a male pheasant walks into the garage as casually as you like. It watched proceedings intently for almost half an hour, side stepping occasionally as a new piece of domestic detritus came its way.

As Mike walked back to the house the pheasant followed him, all the way down the steps. It then stopped at the bottom. As if guarding the way back up. I don’t think it’s Ptolemy. His ‘patch’ seems to go south, from the house down to the river. This new pheasant seemed unwilling to go that way. It might be the bird I’d found sitting on top of the electric gate. The one that had acquired a surprised expression when I’d pushed the remote control button inside the car and the gate had started to swing..

For a couple of days things were pleasant enough. The pheasant seemed quite tame and enjoying of our company on the journey up and down the hill. But over the weekend things took a turn for the worse. The bird decided that, rather than quietly follow Mike down the steps, it wanted to be in front. It overtook and then stood before him, blocking the way. It then hurled itself at Mike, talons outstretched, and sunk its beak into his jeans.

We wondered if it could be Mike’s red jacket that set it off. But yesterday the pheasant attacked me too. And I was wearing my Barbour. I reckoned I could outsmart it, going up to the garage the long way via the drive, but the pheasant has that route covered too. We are cornered.



That group of branches, stuck in the ground next to the steps?

Defensive weaponry. Standing ready for the next action packed ascent.