Walking quietly down the garden to the Dell to hunt for the cats, the evening sky shading from silver above me to deep rose behind the tree line to the west. I know they will be along soon, if I stand by the broad beans and rhubarb and wait, bats flitting above me hunting moths in the evening air. As I wait, I hear a scuffling and huffling ... the badgers are stirring. If I stand, statue still, perhaps I will be rewarded with a glimpse. A breeze rustles in the trees around me and two black shadows appear, one after the other; those cats can't resist an indifferent human, not obviously luring them in for the night and yes, that scuffling and scritching is surely getting closer. I see, with my ears, that there is something to my left and perhaps to my right as well; scratch scratch, whiffle sniffle, coming up from the Dell. I move just my head and eyes, seeking the source of the sound and there, in the undergrowth, that unmistakably striped face, peering about, nose to the ground, searching tasty morsels for supper time treat. A young one, this year's litter; perhaps Mum is behind. He trots along the grass in next door's garden, almost skipping with evening excitement, clearly visible through the very gappy "hedge", heading for the bird tree near the house, where delicious leavings can be found once the birds are all in bed. I stay still, in case another is following behind, but then here he is, bumbling back. He stops in the gap, facing me, his nose lifting, lifting, lifting to snuff at the air. The breeze must be behind me, he scents me and hops nonchalantly back to the undergrowth, hidden again from view, visible only through sound. My treat is over. And those cats? Ah well, they are in play mood now, so hurry up the garden with me, back to the house, hoping for strokes and fuss, lured in by promise of biscuits and there, captured for the night.
Time for bed chaps!