I gave him my one fresh rabbit and my last frozen rabbit meat. I hope it was enough for the terrine.
It's been a quiet Saturday and after the animals were seen to, we thought we had better start gathering some of the wild hedgerow fruits before the birds beat us to it. The back of Mike's work truck makes an excellent mobile picking platform.
We picked sloes today, for sloe gin of course. Last year's batch has been drunk already (..ahem...) and there's another batch ageing in the pantry. Both were from sloes frozen two years ago. Last year was a terrible year for wild fruit and it was nearly impossible to find some in any reasonable quantity. Plus, in the bad years I think of the birds and animals that need it more than we do. Hence, we will make hay while the sun shines - or gin while the sloes are ripe and abundant, as the case may be. And we will pick a few extra pounds for the freezer, just in case.
We picked until it was time to feed the horses and check the birds at The Hill again. We stopped home for a quick cup of tea (gamekeeper fuel) and heard the recognisable cries of a lost chick. We checked both mother hens, then I remembered Gertie. Gertie is the little pekin who went broody on a dummy egg left in a nest to encourage the chickens to lay eggs there. She was so doggedly broody, I took pity on her and popped a few bantam eggs I'd found in a hidden nest (obviously nobody told that chicken about the whole dummy egg principle). I didn't even know if they were viable .
Turns out at least one was. And it has a terrible sense of direction. We found it wandering outside the chicken house, headed for the dog kennels. It's been reunited with its inattentive mother, and I knocked together a makeshift broody coop around the pair. We will keep our fingers crossed for the 2 or 3 siblings that may yet hatch.