Out on the walk with Ollie yesterday, we were deafened by the sound of low-flying military aircraft.
The sky was very grey on a gloomy day, and although I couldn’t see them, it felt as if the jets were incredibly low.
As we walked into the woodland, they made another pass, engines roaring. Their passage through the air made the tall thin trees quiver, with a sound like rice being shaken in a metal container. Seconds later, we were stood in a massive fall of small leaves, fluttering down around us like multi-coloured snowflakes.
Ollie headed off on a side track, and I followed him, having to bend low to get past branches that he could easily trot under. Moments later, with a sound like an approaching freight train, the jets returned for yet another swoop over Beetley Meadows. Noisier than before, that set all the birds squawking, and squirrels barking too. Seconds later, a Muntjac deer appeared from some bushes. He was only a few feet from us, and seemed to be trying to escape the jets.
When he spotted Ollie, he turned in his own length, and crashed into a thicket of Holly, ignoring the sharp leaves. Ollie yelped, and took off after him.
Ollie’s pursuit flushed out two more, and they ran straight past me, one so close I felt its rump brush my leg. They were followed by my excited dog, who had obviously decided that chasing two at once was more fun that trying to find one that had gone to ground. Those small deer are not much bigger than Ollie, but they are chunky enough to run through the toughest brambles and undergrowth.
Ollie was gone for almost ten minutes, and I stayed where I was, waiting for him to return. Once the three deer had all managed to evade him, he came running up to me, still looking excited. Maybe he thought I was going to find him some more?
But the low-flying aircraft had concluded their mission, so he had to be content with running into the river for a drink.