TIGER DUNG?

 

"How did that bagder get into my back garden?" asked a Dublin suburban dweller. "The walls are quite perpendicular." The answer, presumably is that the badger has powerful claws and can get a grip on most surfaces. Also, in spite of its apparent lumbering activity, it is in fact, extremely sinuous and springy. Though it hardly took a running jump. Just climbed. And this was not the first suburbanite to note the phenomenon.

And foxes have been able to climb into trees. Whatever hope you have of keeping badgers out of your garden, you have practically none with the fox. Unless, maybe, you have a Doberman constantly on the loose within the confines. And why, if you don't keep chickens, should you be so unhospitable to the fox? They are lovely animals to watch, as with the badger. (Beats watching blue tits any day.) And it's not unusual to see a couple of foxes, a badger or two, and one of the local cats, all feeding from food put out, side by side.

If you have a bowling green type of lawn, right enough, you might resent the badger's habit, in hard times especially, of making little holes to get at worms and whatever. And, especially if there is no food left out for the night, you should make sure the lids of your bins are well screwed on.

Anyway, a man came into a garden shop recently and asked if he could buy a repellent for foxes. There are indeed preparations sold which, in pellet or dissolved form, are recommended to keep unwanted animals away from your vegetables or flower beds, maybe. Tried once to keep mice from digging up acorns planted in a bed, didn't work. Some of these preparations are believed to keep cats and dogs away, even.

But this customer had a different idea. He wanted a repellent against foxes. The proprietor didn't know of one specifically advertised for that purpose. He asked a friend who was some thing in the pharmaceutical or general chemical business. "Only one remedy," he said, "and it's tiger dung." Where was that to be got? "From the zoo, of course." "Don't tell them I told you." Now this was on April 3rd, not April 1st. When it was mentioned to a woman who gardens well, she said that of course everyone knew that. Would you have the nerve to approach the zoo? Could you never mind the fox, live with the smell.