Everyday Life

The Vole & The Compost Heap

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The other evening Adam brought me a gift – rather like a cat, he came to the back door with a look of delight and a small mammal.

This beautiful little chap had been uncovered when Adam was tending to the compost heap. He must have disturbed a nest, he didn’t realise until he was raking it out and the chickens were having a rummage. Worried that this tiny mite would become a chicken snack, he picked him up.

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We follow the rule that you do not disturb nature, and you let nature take it’s course (since I was involved in the terrible dove and hawk incident of 2011). But as we had disturbed nature, and there was no sign of his family, we felt it was right for us to take care of him.

The consensus is that he is a vole. I called him Claude – it wasn’t intentional.

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I turned to my facebook friends for help, and they were amazing! Mickey is a lover and saver of animals, and a taxidermist. She advised us on what, when and how to feed him. Emma, my other taxidermist friend (I swear I only know two!) gave us the details of a fairly local Wildlife Hospital.

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I fed Claude and he zonked out, so much so that I thought I had killed him. I was sad. Adam went to look and found him snoring away, he was okay, well fed and sleeping. Relief!

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We called the Wildlife Hospital and Dinah, the lady who runs it, told us we could bring him over right away. She prepared a box and a heat pad for his arrival. We wrapped him up in a cake box and wood shavings.

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We found the hospital, dropped him off andÂ… hang on a minute – there were deer in the dining room! Two beautiful little deer. They were like little dogs, kind of like whippets, they liked a good fuss, chewed my hand and licked Adam’s legs. Then, THEN, Dinah asked if we’d like to meet the sheep that they’d rescued and rehabilitatedÂ… erm, yes! She opened the door and called, ‘Harry! Harry!’ and this huge big dollop rounded the corner at speed, lolloping along with a slightly crazed expression on his lovely big face, I am sure he was smiling! He was massive. Massive. And he liked a fuss and a rub too!

It was really incredible to meet these wonderful animals, and Dinah, who is so kind and caring to them all. I have to go back there. I need to hang out with the animals.

I’m waiting to hear back and find out if little Claude has survived, I have my fingers and eyes crossed.