28 Nov 2009

A wildlife encounter

Yesterday I was coming back from Narbonne quite late and it was pitch black. I was about 5kms from Bize when something ran across the road in front of me – I had oncoming traffic and couldn’t avoid it. It looked like a small-ish dog, and unfortunately I hit it full-on.

I turned around when I could and went back to see that it wasn’t just injured, and had a quick look from the car. I couldn’t see very well from my side, but I had June in the car with me who said it was definitely dead, and that it was probably a small wild pig (sanglier). There are plenty of them around this area and they’re a real prize for the hunters.

As sad as it was, I figured that someone in the village would be delighted with the sanglier, so phoned to ask Duff to come back with me to collect it! I picked him up and we headed back, armed with a black plastic bag.

Pulled off to the side of the road, hazard lights on, and discovered it wasn’t a pig at all. It was a hare! The poor thing wasn’t too damaged at all, but appeared to have died instantly. It broke the bumper on my car – I certainly hit it full on and he didn’t stand a chance. And he was huge! I have never even seen a hare (un lièvre) – dead or alive - but I know they’re highly sought after by the hunters too.

So the plan was to offer it to my elderly neighbour, who often goes out hunting with his old dog. I’ve seen him come home with the odd pheasant, and take it inside for his wife to clean (I know this is how it works now!).
And so we did offer it to him – he came into the garage to see it, and was very happy indeed to take it off my hands.

Now, unfortunately that wasn’t the end of the story. Ten minutes later, he was back with a few ‘désolées’ – and returned the hare.

Madame said it was too much work to clean it, and obviously cleaning wasn’t in his remit. His work apparently starts and finishes at the hunting stage! I know he was genuinely ‘désolé’. He’d been telling us the different ways he could cook it – roasted or casseroled – both delicious he said.

Next, I rang Claude and Ellyette – Claude’s sister who also lives in the village was visiting, and yes she would love it. So five minutes later, I had a very happy Rosemarie drop by and take it off my hands…..

And so mercifully we were spared the next option: having a go at cleaning it for ourselves – not something I was looking forward to!

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