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A Man of Few Words - by Swan Morrison

Country Living

I love the countryside. That is why I moved to a property in an isolated rural village. Initially, of course, there was much work to do, but now I think I have created as near perfection as is possible on this Earth.

My first challenge was the rabbits. They would roam through the garden, voraciously consuming plants, and clearly that had to be stopped. I tried fencing and then trapping and then shooting, but this simply led to a reduction in numbers rather than complete eradication. Scientific contacts from pre-retirement days, however, finally furnished me with a phial of the myxoma virus. This led to the outbreak of myxomatosis which solved the problem of bunnies not just for me but for everyone in the country.

The next disruption to my tranquillity came from the birds. Every morning at dawn they would make an insufferable din, and obviously that had to end. One solution would have been cats, but I can’t abide small furry creatures. Having been involved in research for the Ministry of Defence for all my working life, however, I recalled a prototype weapon which was simply gathering dust at the MoD, and, after a few phone calls, it was agreed that it could be stored with me. It was a self-targeting, motion-activated laser cannon which could shoot down any moving object between twenty and three hundred feet in the air, within a radius of a mile. This was a great success, and I have since been able to wake-up to blissful silence. The incidents with that telephone engineer working thirty feet up a telegraph pole and the microlight pilot coming into land were minor inconveniences by comparison. Indeed, the noise of a fellow villager, God rest his soul, persistently flying his microlight was a great nuisance, so that was ‘two birds with one stone’ - so to speak.

Even with these problems resolved, however, I felt overwhelmed with the challenge of other vermin. Moles, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, deer - the list seemed endless. At one point I almost abandoned my dear home. Thank heavens, therefore, for anti-personnel mines. Once again, my old colleagues came to the rescue, and I was able to liberally deploy these wonderful devices all over my land - within mole runs, near fox holes and badger sets, and along boundaries. Admittedly the regular detonation of ordnance led initially to many sleepless nights, but now almost complete peace prevails. I feel, however, that I must once again offer my deepest condolences to the relatives of those who used the adjacent public footpaths and the loved-ones of my last three postmen.

The final battle was won with remarkable ease. Initially the butterflies and insects seemed unstoppable. The fact that they were attracted by certain species of plant, however, was the clue to their defeat. I recalled that the MoD had dumped tons of chemical defoliant at a disused airbase not twenty miles from my home. This allowed total annihilation of all plant species within half a mile of my property and has now produced Heaven on Earth.

I love the countryside.