Quite a big photo-feature in one of the Sundays showing a gamekeeper on the Sandringham estate shooting a fox, then clubbing it to make sure it's dead.
The incident happened during a pheasant-shoot hosted by Prince Philip, and the journalist suggests that the fox's demise, although legal, is likely to cause a ballyhoo among city dwellers.
He goes on to remind us that in 2004 the Queen was criticised by animal rights campaigners after taking a wounded pheasant from a gun dog's jaws and beating it with her walking stick until dead. And in 2000, she was photographed wringing the neck of a badly injured bird at Sandringham.
The GOS can't quite get all this straight in his head. We aren't supposed to hunt foxes with hounds like we used to, because they city-volks think it's cruel.
Are we now not supposed to shoot the damn things either? And, having shot one, are we not allowed to put it out of its misery? What should the gamekeeper have done - just left it to die a lingering death?
Cute little ginger doggy-woggy
Let's not make any mistake about this. Foxes may look like cute little ginger doggy-woggies, but any country-dweller will tell you they're vicious, destructive vermin that kill for the hell of it and breed like b*gg*ry. Just letting them get on with it simply isn't an option. The only good thing about them is that they like to go wherever the pickings are easiest, which means that before long all those bleeding-heart city dwellers are going to find their dustbins overrun with the b*st*rds.
And Queenie? What are we accusing her of, exactly? She comes across a wounded bird - what's she supposed to do? Take it home and bandage its little wing and feed it with an eye-dropper before releasing it back into the wild? Can't see it, somehow.
Years ago the GOS lived in Scotland, in a mountainous district swarming with rabbits. Unfortunately these rabbits were infected with myxomatosis, a horrid and instantly recognisable disease that rots their brains. It was common to come across one of these poor creatures hopping feebly about in the road, not knowing where it was or what it was doing. The only kind thing was to pick it up by the back legs, chop it on the back of the neck or beat it against a rock, and chuck it in the ditch for the scavengers. More recently I've seen farmers deliberately run them over with their Land Rovers - same difference, and even quicker.
I wonder what the modern press and the RSPCA would have to say about that? Perhaps some officious little gauleiter in a peaked cap would come round and tell us we should have picked the afflicted creature up and taken it to the vet - thus prolonging the animal's suffering and earning ourselves a hefty vet's bill?
As an adoptive countryman of 35 years standing, the GOS would like to say that you bl**dy townies with your bleeding hearts and heightened sensibilities should … well, minding your own business would be a good start ….
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