Ipple-Pen Diary. A Partridge in a ………

(4 December 2018)

A Partridge in a ………

It’s Christmas so it’s that time of year we hear renditions of the twelve days of Christmas and “a partridge in a pear tree”

Partridges of course don’t know that it’s Christmas.

Or do they?.

The reason I ask is because here in rural Devon at this time of year partridges are a common sight across the fields and occasionally my dogs flush one out of the undergrowth on Orley Common.

The thing is they can also be seen on a regular basis sat -partridges don’t perch – displaying their brown and grey bellies alongside the lanes around here and are sometimes joined by brightly coloured pheasants with the males of the species strutting up and down showing off.

But why do these ground nesting birds who are usually happy to scrabble around for insects and seeds at the edges of fields and who invariably make themselves scarce whenever a human comes near sit next to roads and the danger of passing vehicles.

Well I wouldn’t like to think it is down to them being bird-brained or simple feathered stupidity but something much deeper.

After all farmers and those who raise game birds provide them with food as they fatten them up for what is their man-made future namely to be sacrificed for mans enjoyment.

So perhaps these most stoical of birds have another reason for sitting alongside the lanes.

Perhaps knowing that they certainly don’t have the speed to outrun a well aimed shotgun pellet they’ve decided that the only available option to get back at the man is to commit suicide.

It would be understandable – bloody hell fire especially for the pheasants with their full brightly coloured plumage that make them such an easy and visible target to the hunters – that knowing what the end (if they do) is going to be they have decided that they’ll have the last laugh.

Just think about it from a human point of view.

You are supplied with all the food you need so avoiding having to forage around supermarket shelfs  so you over-eat – get fat – feel guilty – get depressed – eat some more – get depressed………and all the time you know that your end is going to be very stressful and unpleasant.

But not of course until you have become so fat you can’t escape.

Wouldn’t you lose the will to carry on?

Since they are being bred to be blasted out of the sky in a flurry of their own feathers why not just sit on the roadside and wait until a vehicle comes by and putting two winged feathers up to the man say f*** it before fluttering into an oncoming grill.

Puts a completely different slant on a partridge in a pair tree.