I have mentioned before that Austin has a tendency to leave the dead carcasses of his murder victims outside my bedroom window in the rather grandly named "courtyard" - but which is really just a couple of paving stones and a retaining wall. Have to say though that on a balmy summers night, what with the cream coloured walls of the house and the way it is designed architecturally, there is a distinctly mediterranean feel to the place.
Sadly, balmy summers nights have been in rather short supply the last few years. Anyway several times of late I have drawn back the curtains in the morning to a scene of carnage on the paving stones; anything from shrews to voles to baby blue tits. But then this morning there was a fully grown robin lying mutilated on the ground. I don't know why this should upset me more than the rest, but it's red breast was so vivid and warm and colourful, in stark contrast to the dull grey of the cold stone ground. I was poleaxed because I was still half asleep when I drew back the curtains and the scene unfolded like the first act of a Shakespearean tragedy!
This was yet another present to me from Austin; it was beautiful and it was dead! The incongruity of the sight did manage to penetrate my sleep sodden brain; the poignant beauty and delicacy of this death at variance with the bold brash birth of the brand new day. The end and the beginning played out in a tableau before my eyes. Here was the reminder to us all that death is midst of life.
Austin, being rather more prosaic and earthbound, popped his head up from under the window. His tail shot up like an exclamation mark!
"Look what I've done!"
"Yes; thanks my boy. I guess you're only doing what comes naturally, but I wish you wouldn't implicate me as an accessory after the fact", as I trudge wearily to fetch a shovel and some paper :<(
NB What Austin doesn't know is that this afternoon at 4.10 precisely he will be at the vets having his annual check up and booster shot. Now I'm not in the least vindictive and I know he won't make the connection, but he hates the vets; so you can't blame me if, on this occasion, I feel just a little less sorry for him!!