First Published: 19/12/2014


Well friends Christmas is nearly here, the sprouts are simmering and the goose is in the oven (or I wish it was).  As you are all aware The Dragon is very fond of her poultry, as are all the local foxes – she still hates foxes, ever since one tunneled into her old wooden hen hut and stole a chicken, but not before it had ripped the heads off all the others.

    In the years since I wrote to you regularly, there have been comings and goings with her birds.  I am cool with the hens, and they likewise with me.  The turkeys were a different kettle of fish.  They were big and black and used to surround a boy, staring at me with their small beady eyes and wobbling their wattles above my head whilst going, “gobble gobble”.  I’m convinced what they were actually saying was “Yum Yum where shall we start”.  However turkeys are the most stupidest of all birds, and I always managed to disappear from sight before they’d even noticed I’d gone.  They would then all stand round looking at the empty space on the ground with a most perplexed look on their ugly faces!  They left one Christmas.

    Then came the geese.  Oh the geese!  The three girlie geese were ok, but the boy, the gander – Sid Vicious – he is something else!  Nobody warned me that geese have teeth and a worse temper than any terrier with PMT.  The first time I met the four geese, I expected them to be thick like the turkeys, boy was I wrong!  As I sauntered slowly past them, Hissing Sid postured at me and the next moment ran from nowhere and attacked me!  He managed to clamp his teeth onto the end of my tail, and would not let go.  I yelped, I ran, but still he held tight to my tail.  The faster I ran, the more he flapped his wings, and the higher off the ground went Sid with my tail.  In the end with my ears flapping and the gander also flapping on the tip on my tail, I looked more like a Chinook Helicopter than any dog.  Which was quite apt, as in the fracas and noise and chaos, the yard was more reminiscent of a war zone than the idyll farm scene it usually is.  Finally I managed to dive under a trailer full of straw, leaving Sid embedded beak first in a large bale.  He did look like a giant woodpecker!  The moral of this story is that I always poke my ‘sneck’ round corners to see where Sid is.  I sidle round the buildings when he is about, watching his every move.  As soon as he postures or honks, I sprint off at a speed that would put Ussain Bolt to shame.  His little dumpy legs are no match for mine, and he soon gives up the chase.

    Talking of little dumpy legs, The Dragon has a favorite goose, which is one of Sid’s daughters.  When she hatched she had a deformed bill, and it became apparent that she was also nearly blind.  It does not stop her, as she uses her right wing to feel her way round the yard, and at night she sleeps safely in a dog crate in a stable.  She often trundles down to the pond at the bottom of the very steepest hill on the farm.  Every twilight The Dragon goes down the hill to fetch her home before the foxes come out.  ‘Bint Vicious’ normally gets part way up, then lies down to be carried the rest of the way.  She is a very heavy goose.  Each time The Dragon gets back up the hill, she sounds like a broken record, “If I have to carry THAT goose up THAT hill one more time, I’m going to wring it’s neck and eat it”!  It has been at least three years and she has not eaten it yet.  I wish she would wring Hissing Sid’s neck, I’d LOVE to chomp on his wing!
Merry Christmas to you all,

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