Monday, April 7, 2014
What passes for peace and quiet is slowly returning to Wood Farm following the excitement of the media circus regarding our terrorist pheasant.
Don’t worry – he is still very much in evidence at the moment. I keep hoping that he will suddenly realise that he has become an international star and capitalise on it by leaving us and finding himself a good agent.
After all, life at Wood Farm will be a little tame for him after all the attention that he has enjoyed over the last few days. With help from our friend David (and his trusty yard broom), the pheasant has been photographed from every conceivable angle and one intrepid reporter got very close to him with a microphone and was able to record the pheasant’s comments on his new found fame. Sadly, as most of us don’t speak ‘pheasant’, his views on the whole situation will probably remain unknown.
I still find it hard to believe that one evil-minded bird can attract so much attention and get such a following so quickly. His notoriety started with a mention in an article in The Hunts Post, and before we knew where we were, he was on BBC online. Subsequently he featured in two interviews on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on two consecutive days, had a new game show devised around him and reporter Jozef Hall (who was brave enough to record him) and also achieved fame in three national daily papers.
My spies tell me that he even got himself mentioned on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show and Radio 4! My niece, who knows that I am utterly clueless about social media and who has finally given up trying to teach me how to text, assures me that he has also managed to inveigle himself onto Facebook and Twitter too.
While I have noticed that the number of visitors to our farmhouse has diminished significantly since news of the pheasants antics became public, we have received phone calls from far and wide, and that is how we discovered that his fame had spread not only nationally but internationally – including France, Holland and Zimbabwe!
There have been lots of helpful and ‘not so helpful’ suggestions on how to deal with our problem bird from various quarters. One idea came from a delightful lady billed as ‘The Pheasant Detective’ on Radio Cambridgeshire, who thought that he must have a huge harem of pheasant wives who were currently breeding with him and that he was merely trying to protect them. She could be right, but if that is the case, there must an inordinate number of them as he seems to be patrolling the whole farm.
Actually, I must confess that when she first put this proposal forward, I was absolutely filled with horror. The thought of the entire farm being taken over by fierce pheasants was more than I could bear and I wondered whether we might be forced to move. However, Rob received a text from a farming friend who had recently been burgled stating that he had been intending to buy a guard dog but wondered whether the pheasant was still available?
Of course, we have received several suggestions for excellent recipes for pheasant pie. However, this pheasant runs after cars with the speed and determination of an Olympian runner, so I think that he really would be incredibly tough and stringy to eat. There is also the added problem of exactly who is going to catch him?
Although he is a menace, his antics have given us quite a few laughs and, let’s face it, the world needs a few characters in it.
I missed the photograph of a lifetime last week when I went outside to see whether David had managed to locate the pheasant for the Radio Cambridgeshire reporter. I needn’t have asked. They had not only found and been chased by the blighter, but guess who was sitting proudly atop the roof of the van when they returned?
As he is often around the farm buildings, David has had a lot to put up with from this bird. It not only chases his van off the premises every time he leaves, but it takes the most enormous pleasure on sneaking up on him when he is busy. He keeps a broom handy to ward it off, using it ‘bristles side up’. Although the pheasant invariably flies at the broom and pecks it, it has usually been possible to usher him out of the building with it without anybody getting hurt.
However, on Saturday the pheasant tried a change of tack. He slunk into the farm building, climbed up onto the bonnet of David’s van and flatly refused to leave. After a half-hour ‘stand off’, David finally got rid of him by putting the windscreen wipers on!
Several people have asked me what it feels like to suddenly become famous but, as I have explained to them, it is not me that is famous: I have been thoroughly upstaged by another bird!
If anybody wishes to get this infamous celebrity’s autograph, they are very definitely on their own!