Have I gone too far this time?

On our way to pick up next winter’s egg supply today (as day-old chicks, to pop under my broody Pekin bantams) I spotted a dead pheasant at the side of the road. Nothing unusual at this time of year in the Dorset countryside, but this one was at the end of a layby, so would be easily reachable without danger from speeding traffic. I said to the girls, “If he’s still there on the way back, he’d make a good supper tonight…” Cue squawks of teenage horror…

Much to my surprise, he was still there, so I pulled into the layby, nipped out and had a quick look. Well dead, but still warm; no signs of decomposition or illness. So into the boot of the car he went…

And indeed he has made the most delicious meal, in a home-made Chasseur sauce, with baked potatos, bulgur wheat and stir-fried kale. But half the family, the male half at that, are being exceptionally fussy and refusing to eat him.

It’s not as if it’ll make any difference to him now, is it? He very clearly died of colliding with a car, nothing more sinister or infectious than that, and he’s been well-cooked to be on the safe side. My Other Half maintains that his mortal remains would have fed umpteen small creatures of the night, but I suspect they would instead have been a deathtrap for them, lying in the path of on oncoming traffic in the dark. I for one am grateful for his little life and untimely death; his bones are boiling for stock right now and his glorious feathers will adorn some of our textile projects. And it’s not as if we killed him ourselves…

Anyway, I’m proud of my daughters, for helping to prepare him without a fuss in the end. And I don’t really mind my fusspot males not eating; all the more for us tomorrow!

These proud mothers think chicks hatch from a cardboard box...

These proud mothers think chicks hatch from a cardboard box...

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