Category Archives: Wild Animals

Run rabbit.

Am I alone in finding this story terrifying? Seems to me that this throws serious doubt on the alleged weight-loss properties of lettuce. But let me ask you this Newsround…whatever happened to Roberto?? The world of jumbo rabbits is clearly a fickle place – but some of us remember.

What is this insatiable desire to find bigger and bigger rabbits? I fear that behind it all is John Craven, with a napkin round his neck and traces of rabbit pie on his chin.

Werner’s last blues

Grizzly Man looks very good indeed. I had to watch a video entitled ‘Are you bear aware?’ before I was allowed to stay in Yosemite National Park (needless to say there was no similar awareness raising of the squirrel peril). It showed lots of bears committing car crime – smashing windows in a desperate search for Lion bars and cheese and onion crisps, I don’t think there was any joy riding though. It’s a well documented fact, but no animal in the annals of car crime will ever match the chimpanzees of the West Midlands Safari Park. Sadly they were all rounded up and shot when foot and mouth broke out – which certainly sends a message to the criminal underclass.

I once described Werner Herzog’s voice as my favourite sound (above even the melancholy chimes of distant ice-cream vans) – which of course sounds horribly pretentious, but something about his lugubrious vowel sounds which match exactly his lugubrious face gives me great joy. I’m sure anyone who heard him saying ‘That’s not an opponent’ about a plastic dustbin in Julien Donkey Boy, would agree.

Anyway nobody ever seems to ask ‘What’s your favourite documentary?’ which is a shame – because I have lots – so in the spirit of time-wasting…

Wings of Hope – Werner Herzog
My Best Fiend – Werner Herzog
Chronique d’un Ete – Jean Rouch
Ongka’s Big Moka – Disappearing World
One Day in September – Kevin Macdonald
Awake and in Pain – no idea who. It was about when the anaesthetic fails in surgery which I watched at a very impressionable age – I have no memory if it was any good, but the title stays with me almost as a motto


What are squirrels up to?

I’ve been thinking about squirrels a lot recently. Working in the middle of a park, as I do, my awareness of them is at an all-time high.

I see them everyday, doing that thing they do – fevered activity and then momentary motionlessness – like they’re playing musical statues but only they can hear the music.

At first I didn’t see it, but after a few days I started to get a strong sense that I was seeing the same squirrels in exactly the same locations as the previous day. The same key positions always occupied by the same little faces, avidly munching, if I’m not very much mistaken, the very same ‘nuts’ (perhaps not even nuts – I don’t claim to be an expert).

Just the occasional deviation, the odd change of stance might have thrown me off the scent – but I fear the squirrels have got a little sloppy.

I’ve just been out for a circuit now for my lunchbreak. I walked down the usual path and there they were insulting my intelligence with their pretence. As I walked on I spun around to try and see what they got up to once I passed. I’m not sure what I expected, maybe a couple of them lugging a big radio transmitter across the path, whilst the others did stretching and flexing exercises. Anyway – I’d underestimated them – they were there inscrutably nibbling.

Now I’m not sure….