I was petrified. What could it possibly be? Anything this large had to be a mammal. The next thing I heard was foxes barking outside my bedroom window. Aha! It was a fox under my bed, which could ... which could easily savage my throat. Eeeek! I made certain the duvet was pulled well-up over my head in strategically ludicrous defence. I was too frightened to investigate in case, whatever it was, attacked. I stayed as still as I possibly could, rigid with terror, in the hope it would go away. Eventually, I dropped off to sleep again.
The next time I spoke to the gamekeeper, who lives next-door, I described my experience and asked if the creature under my bed had been a fox. He told me a fox would not approach a human, and that it would be an otter taking refuge from the foxes outside. How shall I put it? The castle is not hermetically sealed from the fauna of the neighbourhood by any stretch of the imagination, so anything and everything has come a-visiting at some stage. More animal tales will follow ...
I had read "Ring of Bight Water" as a child and knew that otters were not to be trifled with, as these creatures took off the fingers of the author (Gavin Maxwell) and his young assistant (Terry Nutkins). Indeed I had thought the author's choice of pet to be highly unsound. The duvet over the head was definitely a good move. :-)
|the other otter encounter|