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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Cop a load of that

So, there I am on a Nature Reserve, doing my coppicing. Saw, saw, saw, chop, chop, lug, pile at cetera and so on, delightfully content in my own little world, apart from the menopause pain.


(Who knew it was so horrid??? When people talked of this and needing HRT, you know what I thought? I thought, "Man up! Stop your whinging and get on with it!" Oh, yeah, those chickens have come home to roost. I feel like my insides are... OK, you know a caterpillar in a chrysalis? It liquefies, right? It turns into mush? That's what it feels like. Love of my life said, "How great! Imagine what it'll be like when the butterfly emerges!" And that make me think of the poplar - the butterfly tree? Transformation magic? Is this it? Becoming a CRONE, at last! The trees say: "The Crone is the best as the Maiden is held back by naivety and the Mother hampered by nepotism. only the Crone can fulfil her destiny." Right on! The Crone with an HRT patch. So she'd not whinging the whole time.)


Anyway, then this bloody DOG starts barking. And carries on barking. And on. And on. It sounds like it's being tortured. But it's not. It's just what the people and the dogs at this place are like. Really. Like that woman who took five minutes to get bloody Bella and Ozzy off my wood pile - and BTW they had pulled it down AGAIN. So, for ten minutes, I shit you not, this blasted yappy barking at the frequency of fingernails on a blackboard (kids, this is not something you will be familiar with having had whiteboards all your sad lives).


Finally it stopped.


Only for another one to start up a while later.


I was leaving at this point and saw the man and his three dogs. Two nice quiet ones that stayed with him and this seriously hysterical cocker spaniel. So I said, "That's one noisy dog you've got."


Him: Yes, she is a bit [A BIT????] gobby. I think she's anxious.


Me: She sounds anxious.


Him: Blah blah about his dogs.


Me: You do realise that on Wildlife Trust Reserves dogs should be on leads.


Him: No.


Me: Well, they should. It's the case for all their reserves.


Him: I didn't know.


No, he did not put the leads on the dogs.


I left. I was thinking about wild animals. What a nightmare. Tiny pockets of land where they are not ploughed up or run over, but, hey, no respite from loud people talking absolute shite or their utterly out of control dogs.


It is hell. There is no pocket of peace in this world that is not polluted by us in some way.


Just learned from Amitav Ghosh's excellent The Nutmeg's Curse that Native Americans were hugely threatened by the settlers' domestic animals. Not that the colonialists initially fenced off areas, but that the cows and pigs drove the native wildlife away so there was nothing left to hunt. Our domestic animals, the farm animals and companion species, are another layer - with a huge destructive footprint - of colonial appropriation. The Native Americans killed some 8,000 cows, apparently. They'd have shot these dogs.


The free dogs cause even more fear and disruption in the reserves than the people. Where there are free running dogs, a patch of land is not a nature reserve. It's a dog park. And that's the case with most of our "protected" land.


I'd have hated this idea when I had the dog. But, the impact of cats on wildlife is why my cats' lives are sub-optimal. And why I will not have more cats. I just can't do it to them.


No, the menopause is NOT making me grumpy.

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