LOWDOWN Summer 2010 page 29

LONG CAR PARK WALK ☆ Ashdown Forest:
14th March 2010 ☆ Jean Miller

Mothering Sunday dawned with a beautifully sunny morning. Obviously, some members had previous engagements for this special day; but we still had an attendance of twenty three hounds, plus owners. Included in this number were two new families. We hope that they enjoyed the experience and will be coming to some more of our events.

Before Tony arrived to pick me up, he had a rather strange encounter.

As he came down a main road near to where I live, he came upon a man who was trying to shepherd a very groggy swan out of the way of all the traffic. Being ever helpful, he stopped and tried to assist. Between them, they managed to get the swan into a nearby children's playground. Apparently, the swan had flow into telephone cables, and had actually broken one.

Tony continued on to me, leaving the man and swan in the playground awaiting Wildlife Rescue. I believe I am right in saying that swans are a protected species.

I could not get to the previous walk, so had not met Jayne, Chris and Max’s new boy. It was lovely to see the two of them together. Jayne said they were already firm friends. Rosemary's young hound, Krishna, seems to have got himself a great home.

(Ed. Yes Jean, the swan was as a bit of a shock. The poor thing had crashed into the chap’s telephone lines - pulling a heavy metal bracket off the side of his house and flinging it across the road.

Though dazed, the bird was not visibly injured and still had enough energy to be very threatening when we tried to get close.

A big bird, large enough to feed a family of twenty, and I remembered hearing somewhere that swans are strong enough to break a man’s arm.

I just hoped it was the other man's arm!

After some minutes of dancing around creature, we eventually cornered it, leaving an open playground gate as its only escape route. It was still quite early in the day, and the area was empty, so it was fairly safe to pen it there until specialist help came.

What is the best sauce to serve with swan? Perhaps, bilberry! (get it?)

Cover of the Basset Hound Owners Club newsletter Lowdown

Long walk ☞

first published in LOWDOWN

editor Tony Roberts