Field And Hedgerow By Richard Jefferies




























































































 -  But they retain their dislike of dogs,
a dislike shared by cattle, as if they too dimly remembered a time - Page 360
Field And Hedgerow By Richard Jefferies - Page 360 of 394 - First - Home

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But They Retain Their Dislike Of Dogs, A Dislike Shared By Cattle, As If They Too Dimly Remembered A Time When They Had Been Hunted.

The list of animals still living within the pale and still wild is short indeed.

Besides the deer, which are not wild, there are hares, rabbits, squirrels, two kinds of rat, - the land and the water rat, - stoat, weasel, mole, and mouse. There are more varieties of mouse than of any other animal: these, the weakest of all, have escaped best, though exposed to so many enemies. A few foxes, and still fewer badgers, complete the list, for there are no other animals here. Modern times are fatal to all creatures of prey, whether furred or feathered; and so even the owls are less numerous, both in actual numbers and in variety of species, than they were even fifty years ago.

But the forest is not vacant. It is indeed full of happy life. Every hollow tree - and there are many hollow trees where none are felled - has its nest of starlings, or titmice, or woodpeckers. Woodpeckers are numerous, and amusing to watch. Wood-pigeons and turtle-doves abound, the former in hundreds nesting here. Rooks, of course, and jackdaws, - daws love hollow trees, - jays, and some magpies. The magpie is one of the birds which have partly disappeared from the fields of England. There are broad lands where not one is to be seen. Once looking from the road at two in a field, a gentleman who was riding by stopped his horse and asked, quite interested, 'Are those magpies?' I replied that they were. 'I have not seen any since I was a boy till now,' he said.

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