Last Saturday was a funny sort of day but unfortunately not very ha-ha. In view of a forthcoming hilly half marathon, at Keswick, I decided it was time for some long, slow enjoyable runs while taking full advantage of the warm Spring-like weather. 2½ miles into my run I passed a jolly group of people with a pack of dogs, all on leads. As I jogged by, exchanging pleasantries, one of the dogs growled and took a flying lunge at me, its bare teeth scraping my chest as I instinctively backed away. Had I not moved quickly I reckon I'd have been missing a pound of flesh.
|Stink Pit with dead fox on top - and a snare to catch the next one|
This was the third time Old Runningfox had been brought to earth - courtesy of our over zealous gamekeeper. Round one 'stink pit' (a heap of decaying carcases to attract foxes) I counted eight of these lethal snares at the edge of moorland where sheep and inquisitive young lambs were grazing. One farmer admitted to finding one of his sheep with a badly lacerated leg. Another local farmer, in his seventies, was also brought down with one of these snares. Yet they are tolerated by farmers and shepherds alike. Live and let live is their attitude. There is room on the moor for everyone, including runners. Each to his own interests. I didn't bother to reset the snare as I hobbled off over the incongruous new bridge for the last seven miles of my run. My anger eventually melted in the sun's healing warmth and the soothing sounds of a myriad moorland birds. Maybe, next time, I'll remember to take my mobile phone!
Later, as I relaxed in the garden with a cooling drink, I heard a most beautiful sound, that wonderful distinctive twittering that heralds the arrival of summer. Now, I know 'one Swallow doesn't make a summer' but there were four of them. Time to slap on the sun cream!