This week I have been thinking a lot about a Finnish author called Tove Jansson. About one of her brilliant books called "An unwanted guest", to be precise. It's called "Skurken i Muminhuset" in Swedish and that says more about the book, than the translated name. Skurken is a charming bandit called Stinky.
Anyway, the book has been on my mind as the unwanted guest spread a strong odor in the Moomin house and was found out, that way. It all ended well in the story and Stinky got to stay with the Moomin family. It is a charming book.
Our unwanted guest made our hay barn smell oddly. First I thought it was a rat but as we seem to have run out of mice and other rodents, this was not likely to be the case. The mystery was solved by dear husband and Ebba, when they ran into the smelly guest. Turns out that we are downsizing in the predator department and have gone from huge Lynx to small Northern Stoat (Mustela erminea). What this little charmer lost in size, it compensates in being a vicious killer. Not someone you want to have living next door to your animals! It seems to be hanging out amongst the stone base of the barn and then popping in to the barn in search for mice.
I saw it today, twice. It's a very beautiful little creature, white with black on the tip of its tail. Come warmer weather it will change into its brown summer overcoat. The tummy and throat stays white and it has big, dark eyes and the funniest little face. Unfortunately, it also has a keen interest in our hens.
Ebba suggested that she could take care of it, but I politely declined the offer. Poor Ebba could get bitten badly in that meeting so we will try to skip that one, if we possibly can. Apparently, the stoat climbs trees and can kill a lot of pray in one fell swoop and then slowly eat through its larder, in order to avoid obesity. As my dear sister so aptly said "It's not easy being our hens at the moment". I'm now worried that the little weasel will get into the stable so it's not so easy being me, either.
My dear departed father used to say that the best way to see wild animals was to get some domestic ones. Oh my, was he right! We seem to be knee deep in fauna and it would be lovely if they could all turn into vegetarians and let each other be. No wonder that I love elks and I don't worry about deer stopping by, either.
We are getting a new electric cable put in, this spring, so there will be some digging done, around the place. This will mean that our darling sheep are going to be supervising the work, while dear Monty is going to try and be louder than the digger.
Our hens are either going to flip in their outdoor cage, not being allowed to join in the fun or else they will help with the digging. It all depends on the timetable - if the hens can be let out to roam freely, once more. They must be kept away from any contact with wild birds until the end of May, as far as we know. We have to just hope that no sign of bird influenza is found and that the hen's summer holiday season can begin. Ebba tells me that she will not join in with any digging party as she is busy at that time. It's code for "I'm still too shy to meet new people". She does try, bless her cotton socks!
Dear husband tells me that the hares in town already have had their first babies, so that's a sign that spring is here. The stormy weather we are having is bringing warmer winds so that's another thing that gives us hope. The animals are so fed up with the snow and ice and so are dear husband and I. It would be lovely to walk sweet Ebba without falling over all the time!
The lights are flickering as the storm is picking up so I'll call it a night. Just hope the trees can take it - we do seem to go from storm to storm this year. Global warming, I guess.
Time to start making Easter decorations and Easter eggs. Is the Easter holiday actually lovelier than Christmas, I wonder?
Be well, all and everyone.
P.s. It turned out that Ebba is even worse at getting into the summer time rhythm, than I am. Our funny dog is half asleep all morning and then can't settle in the evenings. She has no idea why we feel it necessary to wake up in the early hours of the morning and our dear sheep agree with her. They are starting a petition to end this clock changing business. I think I might sign it as my acorn week turned slightly epic this year.
A blog about a small holding in Southern Finland. Each original story is accompanied by a stunning watercolour illustration or resplendent photographs.