Email communication between my mother and someone from the law practice down the road:

I walk pass your premises on a regular basis – are you aware that you have a family of very large rats residing on your property?  They are quite unafraid and are often out on the driveway or the grass.  They seem to live in the holes that go from the verge under the wall into the garden.  I’m a bunny-hugger and don’t like killing any animal, and I would hate to have them poisoned because of owls, etc.  Perhaps you need to get some large cats? 

Yes we know about the rats – we are rat-huggers and encourage free range rats to enjoy our garden. Please don’t tell anyone else!  We are letting heron and other birds of prey, as well as genet from the river, keep their numbers in check. If you know of any prey birds please pass this on. I would ask you not to encourage any cats though, as I have two live staffies.

So on the weekends I see said rats out on the driveway, enjoying the sun, playing chess with jaunty berets, nonchalant as you like.  I wonder if they are aware that they are ‘prey’?  It’s going to take a very self-assured owl, I can tell you!


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