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Rats, Bats & Sheep – Report 11 from the Greek Hovel

Tom Winnifrith Tuesday 15 July 2014

 

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Oh dear, I thought that I was making progress on eradicating wildlife diversity at The Greek Hovel but it just got worse. I am sure that it is just a temporary blip.

My new best friend, and business partner in the olive business, Foti and a friend of his were clearing out the two first floor rooms again this evening. Another truck load of rubbish has now gone and still we are not finished.

However in the room under the snake veranda we discovered not one but two rats.  This time I did not run, my fear of these creatures is diminishing. But Foti was more proactive, grabbing a broom and thrashing wildly. There was no escape for either rodent. After a couple of minutes of wild thrashing the first one was no more and Foti carried it by its tail and threw it into the olive groves for the snakes to feast upon. The second one he trapped under his boot and pressed down. It too was an ex-rat and on its way to be snake supper.

I should have explained to Foti that in the slums of Manchester and other Grim Northern Shit holes fresh rat is considered a treat for the kids and that we could make a few quid sending the carcasses freeze packed back to Dan Levi. But I do not know how to say that in Greek.

I then asked Foti and his pal to lead the way in clearing a pile of bricks on the snake veranda. Although it now boasts a can of snake repellent so should be snake free I have bad memories.

From there it was off to bedroom two on the ground floor, the one with the earth floor which I must dig out. Once again a rat appeared but before Foti could act it had scuttled off into a hole in the wall.  But the wildlife adventure was not over because something then flew past my head. FFS what’s that? I asked rather nervously. It was a bat. Oh great…more wildlife diversity. Just what I needed. There is in fact a small colony of bats in this room. But it is getting smaller, all three of us prodded the ceiling and encouraged them to leave. Things can only get better.

And now to the sheep…I had a brainwave about how to accelerate clearing the land: bring in goats. They eat anything. Sadly that includes olive trees but sheep apparently behave themselves and as an added bonus snakes do not like sheep and will flee them.  And so with Foti’s pal translating I grabbed a local shepherd who was wandering past with his flock. What a result: As of tomorrow he will be grazing his sheep in the grounds of the hovel. Meanwhile I plan to clear the detritus from the immediate vicinity of the house (including years of leaves) to make it 100% snake unfriendly, to rig up my shower and to install the internet.

There are probably another two more truckloads of rubbish to go and then after a bit more poison is laid down the whole house should be rat unfriendly and rat free. I am however thinking that I now need a couple of pigs to assist in the regeneration plans, how shall I break this to the Mrs?

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About Tom Winnifrith
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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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