An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Tuesday, May 04, 2004  

Husband and Wife at War

Before I get to that, a word about productive wives/mothers. My own mother offers the anecdote of Bill Cullen's mother. Bill was one of 14 children who grew up in poverty in Dublin and now, as MD of Renault in Ireland, he's a millionaire. His uplifting story is in this book. When Bill was trying to get the money together to buy his first garage, his mother produced a tin box from under the bed in which she had saved £500 - a fortune in those days - to get him started. He bought the garage and the rest his history. If that happened today, the money would have to be declared as a gift and she would have been charged interest and penalties for her undeclared income over the years.

But back to the war. Before everyone gets excited we are not at war against each other but rather in a joint campaign against goddamn rabbits. Urban dwellers may not be aware but bloody rabbits are currently the scourge of Ireland's countryside. Hubby and I are building the dream home (yes - a one-off house in the country - environmentalists and begrudgers are outraged). A couple of months ago we personally planted about 250 'quicks' - 2 year old whitethorn and beech trees for our boundary hedge. Think Cissy Spacek and Mel Gibson in that family-toiling-on-the-land movie with lots of rain. Altho' in the movie of my life I'm played by Winona Ryder or Helen Baxendale. Anyway, my father, long term wild life patroller, informed us that the rabbits were chewing away at the bark of our trees. We spent the bank holiday weekend erecting chicken wire on both sides of the trees. We had to rip up old bedspreads and soak them in Renardine - a really really really smelly substance that's the supposed to fend them off. You lay the material along the ground at the trees. Then we pored creosote on the approach to the boundary. If those glorified rodents get my trees, it's shotgun time.

Apparently the pejorative term 'breeding like rabbits' is well deserved. My father tells me that if a doe is laying dying or in a trap, a buck rabbit will come up and opportunistically roger her. And people think they're cute. By the way, did you know that baby rabbits are callled kittens while a mother cat is called a queen?

posted by Sarah | 10:41 0 comments
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