A young robin, searching for juicy berries, got trapped in the fruit cage
I am going to escape soon. I have my mask, gloves, wipes and hand gel ready. Four months in lockdown is not something I dared contemplate mid-March but, knowing of the dangers out there, I did it just the same.
I decided to watch wildlife in the garden more closely and we tried to grow vegetables and fruit so that we would be self-sufficient. I have had endless pleasure watching and photographing the wild creatures and we have more than enough fruit and vegetables.
It is not easy and I am looking forward to the day that I can have a little more ‘freedom’ along with 2.5 million others. For four months I have not put my foot down outside our house and garden – except for when I went for the blood test. I have not been part of the queues keeping two metres apart. I have not visited shops and seen everyone wearing their masks this week. But soon I will be making a very tentative move.
The wild rabbit in our garden has made a move too. When he squeezed in, he must have thought it was wonderful and seemed to enjoy being trapped. There was so much for him to eat, cabbages and carrots were favourites. He was good at the vanishing act. He was a master at it, in fact, one minute he was there sitting on his haunches nipping off choice leaves and the next minute he was gone. I felt like Mrs McGregor in the Peter Rabbit books chasing him away from the plants.
All the vegetables had to be netted, and it is not a pretty sight in the garden. We searched the border hedges but could not find where he had got in. Then, one day last week, I saw him on the front path – he was fit, lively young thing. He stared at me defiantly for a while then bolted for the gate at the end of the drive – and disappeared, seemingly into thin air. All our gates are closed and have chicken wire nailed along to stop the rabbits. But in one corner I saw that there was a little wire flap that had been pushed open. The gap is now sealed, with the rabbit firmly on the other side. He was eager enough to go, but there is danger out there. He will have to dodge the traffic which he is not used to after the safety of the garden.
Now, there is a new problem. A young robin has learnt to get into our fruit cage and help himself to the ripe berries. He has found a way in but can’t find how to get out. He is in a rush to be free. When I open the fruit cage gate, he makes his longed-for escape. I hope he can stay safe on the other side of the fence; it will not be easy, as I will soon find out.
(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)