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The owl, the badger, and the bimbling McFlurry tub.

picture of owl badger hedgehogA country lane at night-time is a wildlife ‘drive-through’. Most have cleared off or gone into hiding, but every now and again, a meeting occurs.

The car was halted because of an owl on the ground, dead center of the lane, stood with its back to us.
Lit in full beams, it casually turned to check out the source of disturbance, us, then just smoothly un-twisted its neck (how can they do that?) and resumed its work….. that of ripping chunks out of a hapless little rodent, pinned down tight in the grip of one foot.
After a time of spectating a somewhat violent exhibition, the silence in the car broke.
“That’s amazing… just…. am’maaaaay’zing.”
Professor Cox, the tv star man wasn’t the passenger, but it sounded just like him.
I shared the opinion…. It was amazing…. an opinion no doubt, not for one moment, ever shared by the rat. A few more seconds past, then big-eyes ummphed itself aloft, along with ratty-no-more, now renamed, Mejustis proteinus.


An encounter, whilst driving empty, to a customer, was with a narrow minded badger. At first it appeared in the headlights, running along the edge of the tiny, middle-of-nowhere lane. There was not enough room to over-take considerately, so the car was slowed, way behind, to match its speed.

The thinking here, was that it would disappear into one of the gaps in the bank… perhaps this gateway coming up? No. Perhaps this farm entrance? No. Well surely this long lay-by? Surely it will trundle itself into the recess and I would have space to pass? Nope, just continues ahead, now poddling along up the center of the lane. After a few minutes of this with matey, it was time for plan B.

With this next gap ahead, I’ll close down the distance and pressurise it into escaping the track of the lane… But, not to be…

Right at the gap, it stops, keels over so its nearside is poised more upward facing, then it judders its head and eyes around as far as they can turn to face the car…. all the time growling, snarling and striking out with its nearside front claw. It was an awesome show of ‘fight’… which was a bit of a shame, as just behind it was the ’or flight’ route… ho hum.

Being sensitive to the probability that all its snarling performance was actually the reality of a stress-out, due to a complete backfire of my Plan B, a retreat was offered.
I shut the lights down, and after shouting out the window something about “You got TWO minutes”, I opened the sunroof, buzzed the seat recliner button, turned the engine off, then lay back looking up at the billions of stars that only get revealed when in pitch dark of lonesome natural places. Love them….. “You got ONE minute left!”….


We rounded the corner and something small was caught in the headlights, bimbling about in the middle of the lane. Straddling it was simple, but as it vanished under the car, its identity seemed to have a remarkable resemblance to that of a McDonalds McFlurry tub… but one with an active mind of its own. “See that!?” Exclaimed my customer. “Sort of.” I responded thoughtfully…. Pondering the possibility it was my favourite ‘crunchy’ flavour.

Anchors on, and a careful reverse, put the wayward tub with a mind of its own, firmly back in the beams.
“Oh, What?” Out of the car, with a closer inspection, revealed the mind element to be that of a little hedgehog. The tubs all have a large hole in the top of the lid-piece and this little chap had stuck his head inside, and then defined the said word… stuck.

Holding the little critter steady I popped the tub base off. “Oh, he’s so beautiful!.” My customer, exclaimed. As I attempted to replace the base unit back over his head, along with the comment: “You greedy little bugger”, the fact that my focus was on the revelation that it had eaten all the ice cream became clear. This mischief was swiftly thwarted with a surreal deep-voiced fast-worded feminine scolding and a careful thwack on the arm.

Base part off again, it still had its head stuck in the lid bit. It looked like those ‘radar’ dogs, fresh from the vets. I named it Sky. Countered with a string of tutting, she renamed it Herbert. Use of the in-car multi tool gismo-gadget, complete with folding scissors, took care of the de-liding procedure and the little critter, now negotiated to ‘Sherbert’, snuffled away into the night.

more stories later….


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4 Responses to "The owl, the badger, and the bimbling McFlurry tub."

  1. admin says:

    Use the tabs under the post – ‘Previous Post’ ‘Following Post’ – First Post’ ‘Latest Post’ – to move along the stories of Left Ear Driver… in order of writing.
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  2. shona says:

    Fun for lucky customers. The ice cream story very fun. I luv hedgehogs. x

  3. Dave Trent says:

    Litterbugs caused that hedgehog the real problem. Humans lobbing stuff out car window. Bottles used to be the problem. Mice climb in and skid on inside of bottle neck and can’t get out again.

    Badger was interesting. They will be all dead next year because farmers don’t like the countryside!

  4. Left Ear Driver says:

    A few more stories coming on hedgehogs. including a baby one and a drainage hole.

    Suppose for badgers, scientists will have to soon define the threat of TB carrying as a Yes or a No…. can’t kill em for no real reason…. or run em over.

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