The Gatekeeper

Our post lady is very sweet. As we are some distance from the road the intercom sounds about 12.30 p.m., most days, with a cheery “Good Afternoon, Post…”. It saves unnecessary journeys up the hill. Except one day last week there was more: “Be careful when you come up. There’s a pheasant up here acting very strangely. It chased me down the track and now it’s attacking the tyres of my van….”

Oh dear. And it was not to end there.

A carpenter came round to replace the architrave on the back door. Obviously he had to come down the steps. And I’d forgotten to warn him..

Neighbour Trevor’s wife found herself under siege in her own front garden, with only a pair of secateurs to defend her..

Coming out of the drive one day I saw another poor lady whose only crime had been to drive her Honda down the road, now with the pheasant in hot pursuit..

And I shall never forget the sight of the DHL man wielding a curtain pole, Darth Vader style, at a bird little over 12 inches high.

But our avian chum saves his best for the grocery delivery. Perhaps he can smell the food in the van. A lady driver, once pecked twice shy, refused to open her door until reassured that the pheasant was nowhere to be seen. She was replaced by ‘Big Jim’, whose misfortune was to back the van farther down the drive than is the norm. The pheasant appeared from nowhere, hurtled through the gap between me and Mike and then launched a furious attack on Jim’s feet. Delivering our shopping may now be on a volunteer only basis. At this rate we may even get struck off.


The Gatekeeper

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