Friday, 19 September 2008

Goose Island

At the beginning of this year we had a visit from the fox who took our two remaining Donald Ducks. They were ten years old, walked with a limp and should have been dispatched long before; but our sentimentality wouldn't allow it. The winter was cold and for only the second time since we've lived here the moat froze to the extent that we could play ice hockey on it. Unfortunately it also meant that Donald and Donald couldn't escape into water when the Fox came to visit.

We gave Max some geese for his birthday and recently two small ducks have been added to our wildlife. As a result we have been humming and haa-ing about the winter and the possibility of a second visit from the Fox. Finally last month Pillock Island was decided upon. Max decided that a pile of rocks should be placed in the middle of the moat, surrounded by a wire netting to hold them in place, and a pallet put on top. It was a family affair with the two older boys helping their father and me taking the odd photo. The youngest very sensibly did his homework!

The pile of rocks were punted out (boy, they weighed a ton!) and dropped in place inside the wire. The pallet was put on top and Max even stood on it...briefly. It worked a treat and Dad was able to do his "I told you so" look as he'd taken a certain amount of helpful advice from his sons...and ignored it all.

But then, the island started to list a bit. And then it very gracefully sank. He hadn't counted on the amount of mud at the bottom which the rocks had disturbed and then sunk into! That was the moment it became Pillock Island although my naming ceremony wasn't appreciated!

My idea of four anchor rocks holding the pallet in place was scoffed at several times but finally a mixture of more rocks and the anchors was used to great success. We left some bread on the island and by the next morning both ducks and geese were happily using the island. Since then the geese have decided it belongs exclusively to them - hence the renaming of Pillock Island to Goose Island.

1 comment:

Lorna said...

Wonderful pictures and story. Hope it works and Mr. Fox can't swim!