The weather changed yesterday, and not for the better. We went from nice sunny and relatively warm days, back to what feels like the end of winter again. Cold, rain, and fresh mud.
But as you know, Ollie has to go out, and today was no exception. So from 1:15 until 3:15, I set off walking around his usual favourite spots, wrapped up against the cold showers, and big boots on for the mud. On the third, or perhaps fourth, circuit of Hoe Rough, I spotted a plump male pheasant ahead of us, on the smaller side path. His vibrant plumage stood out magnificently in the gloom, and he seemed to be about some very important pheasant business, strutting purposefully along the path.
Ollie spotted him too, and without a heartbeat’s hesitation, took off at speed, his approach muffled by the soggy ground. I had no fear for Mr Pheasant. They usually fly off long before Ollie gets to within three feet of them, and I suspect my dog sees it as a game that he never wins. But on this occasion, whatever was preoccupying the stout game bird had diverted his attention long enough for Ollie to suddenly be upon him. With a loud fluttering of wings, and a characteristic pheasant squawk, the bird barely escaped from between Ollie’s paws, colliding with some small branches as he took off vertically into a nearby tree.
I was left lamenting the fact that we almost had pheasant for dinner tonight, and the bird lived to fight another day.
So it’s back to my planned meal of chicken and chorizo paella instead.
I’m sure it will be tasty enough.