Allotment downsides

There are things that those jolly allotment books never tell you – look away now if you don’t want to learn about one of the saddest downsides of allotment life.

Remember those lovely cubs playing with their mother, the vixen, on an allotment near ours a few weeks ago? Well we know what’s happened to one of them: he or she is dead.

The reason we know this is that the little one chose to crawl under our shed to die – and in the hottest week for many a year, it didn’t take us long to realise that we had a problem. To be blunt, it stank.

By the time Himself had managed to locate a torch, gloves, and bin bags, the smell was extreme and he receives my most heartfelt thanks for taking on a task I simply couldn’t have attempted – retrieving the poor little corpse and bagging it up, before liming the area to reduce the horrible odour and the activity of flies.

We can’t tell what caused the cub’s untimely end: maybe he or she was hit by a car and crawled away to a safe place, or more likely the youngster came face to face with an adult fox and was fatally injured during a territorial fight. We always knew that the chances of four cubs making it to maturity were remote but we didn’t expect such a concrete example of nature being red in tooth and claw.

These things happen. It’s quite common for rats and mice to die under sheds, particularly in winter (when it can be attributed to old age) and then for that vile whiff of aged rodent corpse to arrive with the spring, but that odour, nasty as it is, tends to be bearable and fairly short-lived. This was something of another order of magnitude and it’s just one more reminder that while allotment life is generally wonderful, it has its downsides, it really does.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Monday, July 5, 2010


Anonymous said...

It's always sad when a creature dies but that is the natural's upsetting but that's nature for you.

I know haw upset I was when I found a burnt corpse of a hedgehog that had been hibernating under my shed when it got burnt down...In a way I think I took that harder than most deaths I have come across because it wasn't natures way it was harsh vandalism!

July 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Damo said...

Sorry to hear that nature I suppose. Hope the other cubs make it.

July 7, 2010 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Tanya, that would have definitely made me very sad and angry.

Damo, we do too. At least now we're a bit happier to know that Mum is okay.

July 8, 2010 at 9:34 AM  

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