Sunday, 5 July 2009
The Killing Fields
No one is sure when the attack started or how long they had been planning it, but by mid-morning many had died. First came the light infantry - slugs from the right, caterpillars from the left. A classic pincer movement, simple but devastatingly effective. The cabbages were defenceless. The marigolds, the companion plants of the brassica troops, were no match for the manic munchers. The legumes and the roots looked on, helpless as the leaves of their fellow veg slowly but surely disappeared into the mouths of the ceaseless marauding munchers. But the worst was yet to come, as some time in the early hours the heavy artillery moved in. THE SHEEP! At first we thought the sheep had made a bold front entrance, striding straight up the driveway while we slept the sleep of the innocent (and the slightly drunk). But no, the sheep were sneaky and slipped silently through a gap in the gate in the back field, well within striking distance of the veg plot. It was a blood bath! The potatoes were unscathed, one asparagus plant and a leek both lost their heads. The remaining onions and the garlic fended off the sheep by virtue of their stinky aroma. The rhubarb's poisonous leaves meant only a single bite was taken. The already weakened brassicas never stood a chance - farewell savoys, adieu to the first broccoli florets. The peas and beans shook with fear on their canes as the sheep turned their attention from the cabbages to the legumes. The thorny hawthorn sticks may have saved some of the peas but the overhanging stragglers were gone in a flash - the poor sweet peas died in their pods, unpicked and chewed to death. Not even the strawberries, quivering under their wire cage, were safe. A determined hoof soon had the cage off and the young runners in the front line were lost. And then it was the turn of the roots, young and tender seedlings mashed under hoof, baby beets unearthed and discarded, spinach and chard the final victims before the slaughter was over. Tears were shed. Lessons learned. Shut the gate in haste, repent at leisure.
TOOL OF THE DAY
Shot gun (if only we had one!!!!)