Sunday, 16 January 2022

Ferrets I have known....


Shagger in his prime
Time for a 'light-hearted' post, if there was ever one that could emerge from my strange and chaotic mind. Anyways, this is a tribute to a long-dead friend. Also tis a welcome change from my more intense and cerebral posts.  

I've owned a few ferrets in my time. When young I'd go out on the heath with gramps and Shagger, the ferret, grubbing for rabbits for the pot. Old grampa was a veteran of the Great War and said very little. He seemed to me, a towering giant, although my father attests that he only stood 6 foot 3 inches. As a young boy, I was in awe of my grandfather. He had a certain presence and spoke volumes by being silent. And grandfather was a very, very, silent man. However, if I talked out of turn or transgressed in any way I'd receive a swift clip to the head accompanied by a few terse words delivered in his thick black country accent.

We would go out and catch a few rabbits for the pot, and granddad would dispatch the poor buggers with a deft slap to the neck and the struggling would cease. I preferred my cony roasted. A deliciously, dark and dry meat. On occasion, old gramps would light a fire, in the field, and we would roast the rabbits after a day's hunting. One day, out and about, granddad's Staffordshire Brindle Bull Terrier got loose and killed Shagger with a growl and a flick. I was mortified as I truly loved that ferret. Even though the nasty bugger would bite and chew heartedly at my hands when handled. Even today, when my hands get a tan, I can still see the thin tracery scars left by Shagger's tender ministrations: Shagger's legacy. Did I mention that I loved that ferret?

I've owned a couple of ferrets since then, but none could remotely compare to the original, and best-loved ferret, called Shagger.  


  1. It's one of the reasons I have avoided having pets. It was bad enough when one of the cows had to be put down. I was a rubbish farmer's son. Loosing sheep was always bad too, and considering all the inventive ways the woolly bastards found to die, it was still quite distressing. Dogs were working animals. Tools almost, but again, by dog, a good sheep dog was worth more than... well me... actually...