So as you can see, I’ve merged a blog I started about the addition of Thumper the Hare (thanks to the Dear One) into our lives. I’m sorry I haven’t blogged on this sight for a while – things went a bit crazy for a bit and Thumps turned our world a bit pear-shaped for a bit… plus we took a trip home to South Africa….I really home many of you are still out there, following this blog. It was lovely knowing you were there and better yet, hearing from you…. If you’re still around, you may want to scroll down a bit and catch up on a hare-raising adventure… Thumps will, no doubt, feature quite bit in the story from now on…..
In the time between the last Footpath to France, let me tell you what’s happened…The Chateau has a brand new roof, the chapel and Calvados storehouse as well as the little Children’s house have also been given a new ‘hat’ of new wood and shiny slate and everything is looking pretty grand. The Chateau has two new renovated bathrooms with walk in showers and travertine tiles and the some damp patches which were growing the most amazing mushrooms have all been fixed. All the hedges have been cut down and pulled out and replaced by new ones – the old ones were full of ivy and some other climbing invaders and half the hedges fell over so they all had to come out. The fountain has been turned into a miniature ‘Giverny’ and the waterlilies and other water plants are now providing cover for new members – a family of koi who are obviously very happy as they had babies in the Spring. Oh and we have some hops growing in an empty field as an experiment – the Beloved’s babies – ten hops plants, five each of two varieties, growing with wild abandon and reaching out in all directions. We’re going to see how well they do and then we have a plan…which I’ll tell you about another time.
What else…mmmm…..we bought a piece of land – 1,4 hectares worth, in the Dordogne valley, five minutes from my beloved Sarlat but deep in the countryside, no neighbours and a view to forever – right across the Massif Central and on to the direction of the French Alps.
And then there is Thumper. He’s officially part of the family now. Any hassles he had with Ted have all gone and if Thumps is sitting in his tray eating, Ted stops en route to give his nose a lick and hopefully steal a piece of apple. I’ve joined a small group of Hare Owners on Facebook and they’ve been really helpful. Owning a hare – well, you never really own a hare – they’re not like rabbits at all. They’re distant, regal, aloof and affectionate when they please – a bit like a cat really. I can see why they have a ‘mystic’ reputation and why they are called ‘Star Gazers’. He’s a fascinating little guy, made more odd by the fact that he takes his cue’s from two dogs….making his little ‘hare’ personality a bit of a mix.
I think because I carried him around from a day old in order to feed him every half an hour, he now views me as ‘it’. His food source (despite the fact that he can go outside into the garden whenever he feels like it), his morning and evening milk feed (even though he’s now nearly four months old – I don’t think he’ll ever stop wanting his beloved goat’s milk), his comfort, his friend and the person who removes any ticks if there are any. He’ll take milk form my Dear patient husband but that’s it. No-one else can touch him, cuddle him or kiss him but me. His trust in me is complete. This is both an honour and, to tell you the truth, a bit of a burden. I worry that he doesn’t get the food he might get in the wild so I’m forever hunting in the bushes for bits of plant or leafy treats that he might like to try. He comes to me as soon as I return, sniffing each offering as it’s presented to him, nibbling a bit, smelling all around and then with his nose upturned, shaking his head in rejection like a child in a highchair being presented with mushed peas for the first time.
Twice, he has managed to get out of his garden (which includes my now half-eaten veggie patch) and in to the main chateau grounds. The first time, I didn’t realise it and Samuel the gardener came across him as he gazed at the chateau on the front lawn. Thumper saw Samuel and got a fright and headed straight for home, charging through the open gate, into the house and into his bed under the stairs.
The second time he was a little more nonchalant about his escapade and after searching high and low for him, I thought I’d leave it for a while to see if he would come back. The worry was, our dear Hare has no idea about the danger of cats or other dogs and I was worried about the stray cats living in and around the barn. But after about ten minutes, I saw him cruising around the barn, stopping to sniff hear and there, reaching up to look on higher ledges – not a care in the world. I went outside and called him and he came towards me – slowly as he was still enjoying his exploration – and then the Dear One came up behind him and together we herded him back. He didn’t want to go but a loud hand clap sent him shooting back to the safety of his garden.
He drives me insane sometimes. He loves to sniff out any smells and comes to see what they are. My breakfast being one and even worse, dinner. We were sitting on the sofa one Friday evening and decided to eat while watching the news. And there was Thumps…you could almost see him thinking…
‘What you got?’
And with a mighty leap – he landed dead center of my plate. Worse still, he stayed there for a bit just to make sure nothing was edible – then leapt off spraying food everywhere. He then sat calmly in his dog bed and proceeded to clean sauce and bits of food off his feet.
But he’s cute and after his milk, rolls around on my lap wanting cuddles and kisses. Then he charges (or ‘binkies’ being the correct term I believe) around the house twisting and turning, leaping from sofa to chair, bounding up the stairs, rolling on the bed, careening down the stairs and bouncing on our laps before landing in a heap in his bed. Tass ans Ted watch on as we do – in amazement.
Hope to hear from you,
A la prochaine