4th. October 2016. This evening – during my crepuscular ramble around the block – about six miles – I met a lone Hornet. He was on the road and I must confess – I thought about paying him no heed. Trouble was he was doomed to be squashed by the next car – whose engine I could hear already. My better self took courage and I set about a swift rescue. He was probably cold – but agitated enough by my well-intentioned interference – so I found something to transport him in preference to using my bare hand! With a little coaxing – he clambered aboard a fern frond – and was given safe passage to the hedge.I watched him crawl away up the earthy bank in search of cover for the night – job done. Further round – under the cover of complete darkness – I met a perfect stranger called, Phil – who was walking his gentle dog, Ralph. For a period of unmeasured time – we talked all about a shared love of local wildlife – and Exmoor wildlife enthusiast, Johnny Kingdom. We shook hands and went our separate ways.
It was an enjoyable, torch-lit interlude – which is funny because I deliberately head out when other people who live in the countryside prefer to head in – in that way I’m rather like the hornet who keeps his own company. That said – it was nice to engage with another kindred spirit.
Roughly three hours later – I returned to my start point – and noticed our new next door neighbour’s lovely sports car parked at the side of the road – still had its boot wide open! Not really wanting to disturb anyone – I pensively knocked on their neat front door. Standing there with my striped yellow reflective jacket strung untidily around my waist – I probably looked for all the world like an over-sized hornet at his door. My neighbour soon opened up and without alarm he greeted me warmly and invited me inside.
Choosing to stay this side of the threshold – I quickly told him about my observation. After a second hand shake this night – we introduced ourselves and as quickly said good-bye. My neighbour then scurried off outside to see to the matter.
In the short walk to my front door – about fifty yards – I couldn’t help thinking how lucky I am to live in the country – where I can meet without fear – a stranger in the dark – and my neighbour can leave his lovely posh sports car with its boot wide open for a good three hours!