Friday, 21 September 2012

Chester - 3

My children tell me now that Chester was quite naughty.  I never noticed that.  He was just right as far as I  was concerned, although he was a determined rabbiter and I had to search for him daily, usually having to haul him out of a rabbit hole, where he was digging enthusiastically for bunnies that had long vanished through their boltholes.

I remember an autumn when he was a couple of years old and the farmer was cutting the maize crop behind the house.  He started from the outside and worked in,  so rabbits got trapped in the centre until finally they couldn't stand the suspense any longer and made a run for it.  Chester ran too, caught and killed a rabbit and then chased another.  I still remember the look of bewilderment on his face when he caught up and realised that he couldn't hold two rabbits in his mouth.  He let go of the first, caught the second, and then was quite disgusted when I'd not only laid claim to the original rabbit but insisted he gave me the second one too.  We cooked them both for him to eat, mind you.

Towards the end of his life he became much more indulgent, by the way.  He used to sit watching a family of baby bunnies play in the sun.  And he never went for the chickens, he understood that no bird was fair game to him.

It was my friend Jackie who trained him more than I did, however.  She used to walk her dogs on the field behind ours and Chester went to greet them.  He tagged along on their walk and, when they got back to the road, Jackie produced some dog biscuits.  All dogs sat and received their biscuits.  Then she told Chester to go home.  He was quite reluctant, but she persisted.  And, finally, off home he trotted.

5 comments:

Mike and Ann said...

He sounds as if the setter part of hime was quite strong. As I've said they tend to be lovely natured dogs, not (generally speaking) highly intelligent, but with a strong element of the 'old soldier' in their nature (i.e. knowing just what they can get away with).

Z said...

He tested me to see what he could get away with. I'll write about that next.

john.g. said...

Good for Chester, but why didn't you eat one of the rabbits?

luckyzmom said...

Such a sweet story.

Z said...

When I took them from Chester I promised to give them back.