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The Annexe

The Annexe

The Annexe
The complete (all fourteen chapters) story in the 'Lower Methil Annexe' series!
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It’s 2 in the morning … yet again!

There are lots of people working hard, trying to preserve garden wildlife: feed the birds, build a ‘bug hotel’, make a gateway for hedgehogs. All very commendable.
“If you see a hedgehog ,” they say “let us know all about it! Hedgehogs are becoming a rarity!”
Not in my garden.
With the warm, summer nights, we tend to leave the back door open. Keeps the house cool, and allows the dog to wander in and out as he pleases. Our dog considers himself to be the guardian of our garden. Throw out some old, stale bread for the birds, and he will lie there for hours, making sure that no thieving bird can come down and steal it.
If any creature invades his domain, then he will challenge it with growls and a threatening posture. Several times, we have been called out into the night, to remove snakes and spiny mammals – just the thing you want to do before you can retire to your bed. Last night, it was another hedgehog. Growl, growl, grab hedgehog in jaw, and try to carry it around.
We have it down to a fine art. Get the gardening gloves, pull dog away from hedgehog, then drop a basin over the offending spiny intruder. Tell dog to ‘Leave!’ Sometimes, that actually works …
Grab hedgehog (after putting on gloves) and remove it from scene in aforementioned basin. A five minute walk into the countryside, then release hedgehog. Go back home, and shamelessly lie to dog, telling him what a ‘good dog he is!’

If hedgehogs are becoming rarer, it is because they are turning up in our garden with relentless regularity. Same with snakes. I am beginning to worry about the decreasing numbers of tigers, rhinos and orang-outan. Who knows where they may decide to congregate?

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