Honestly, the things you hear on the radio. This morning on Terry Wogan it was a regular feast of animal information. First of all, we should all be eating more Kangaroo meat! Apparently it's low in fact (fat, you wally, or should that be wallaby) and gamey in taste. And incidentally, Kangaroos don't fart - something to do with enzymes and metabolism. Don't ask me to explain it, because any kind of science or scientific information has always managed to pass me by. (Rather like Maths, which I just can't do either.) Then there was a conversation about the Tasmanian Devil, which is falling prey to a contagious form of cancer, so they (the Australians) are thinking of sending a few healthy specimens of these bad-tempered, carnivorous animals over here, so that they can establish new colonies. Now I may have got the wrong end of the stick, but I can see all sorts of reasons for not doing this. For a start, what if they send a few infected ones by mistake? (And these sort of mistakes do happen.) How contagious is this cancer? And how can we possibly know what would happen if they thrived?
Then there was the example of wild bears being re-introduced in Northern Italy, after they had become extinct. What happened? They ate all the sheep, of course.
Now there's a surprise.
Talking of eating unusual things, I can remember, 'when I were a girl', that the Gypsies used to call round regularly, selling clothes pegs and similar items. They were dressed in bright clothes and had some lively stories to tell. My Mother used to threaten Sister and I with the Gypsies if we were naughty. The thought of being sent away with them was both scary and enticing, somehow. And the fact that we would have to eat baked hedgehog was fascinating to us. Apparently the Gypsies cooked them, just like baked potatoes, in a fire. When they were cooked, they just peeled away the spines and skin and scooped out the meat. Ugh. It still gives me the shivers to think of it.
Back then, we also had a horse and cart delivering the milk, and I also remember the Accumulator Man, who came round to top up your Accumulator. What the devil that was, I don't know, but I think it had something to do with batteries and acid. Anyway,it was something else scientific which I didn't understand.
Last of all, on Terry Wogan, they were talking about coughing sheep. So next time we pass the sheep on the way to the Donkey Farm with Grandson, I'll have to listen out for the ones with colds!