The Ole Hedge Creeper.
Ratting with The Rat pack & the Woodspring Boys: By The Ole Hedge Creeper
We started out on this most beautiful Friday in the end of October the sun was shining hot & if I did not know better I would of said it was mid summer, Ryan(my son) & Myself met The Rat pack at a local farm shop car park. These good ole boys hail from Bristol & over the last 20 or so years, I have had the pleasure Nay Honor to have been invited out with these lads so many times that I have lost count of the adventures we have had together. From ferreting to fishing/working dogs/pigeon shooting/ Wildfowling etc the list is endless maybe I will write about these amazing times from past escapades another time or even write a book as I could fill so many pages with the tales of it all.
Anyway lets get on with the story in hand These well respected countrymen had recieved a call from a recommendation from another farmer(who was very satisfied with their service) can you come & sort out our rat problem in our chicken sheds the lady on the end of the telephone said in a very somber tone? Well The Rat packs first words were don’t fret love you have called the right guys & there will no longer be a problem, the ladies mood & tone improved to an excited one! “When can you come she said in a very excited voice?” “Will tomorrow be quick enough for you They said?” And so it was agreed we would go down and be there for 12pm. My Ole Mucker called me and said “I could use some help mate As you are pretty good at this sort of thing & its in your area”.
Well that was a nice touch but I think he was just buttering me up? Well I quickly and gladly agreed saying as long as I can take My Ryan & his young lakeland Terrier pup along for the experience? “No problem he said see you tomorrow at the farm shop 11,30am”. We met bang on time and we were at the chicken farm with 15 mins to spare( I dont know who was more excited us or the dogs) Lizsa the owner was waiting by the farm gate for us with a very excited look on her face her first words were “thank god you are here these rats are driving me nuts?” Well after the usual pleasantries we took a good look around, The best thing was that the chicken houses were sat on breeze blocks & could easily be pulled off on rollers using the tractor & then put back after we had finished, Right lets get down to business as we pulled the first shed off, all the rats dove down there burrows! Like a flash. Gyp Ryan’s lakeland terrier pup who was only a year old out ran an older more experienced lakeland bitch & Nailed a big bore rat it gave her a nasty bite on the lip she let out a yelp then crunched it with a single shake & the rat was no more. Well as any of you out there will know it only takes one bite from a rat too a dog for them to learn what to do with them & this pretty little bitch was no exception. She showed every one for the rest of the day no quarter one bite one shake, dropped it then onto the next. Well the boys started up the smoker & rats were popping out all over the place like corks out of a bottle & the dogs were nailing them all over the place. The old Lakeland terrier like a true old pro marked the holes where the rats were sitting & every time she was bang on ” bloody good dog that” I said, to my ole mucker also had her daughter a year old pup a cross between a lakeland & a working cocker spaniel.
I think that was an accidental mating but hey some times they make the best workers & this was no exception and just like her mum true to form she marked the holes and despatched the rats time & time again. But if I have to say it my self and I know the rat pack boys would agree by far the best dog of the day was little Gyp our Lakeland terrier who showed no fear with the heart & spirit of a lion and gave no quarter to these rodents. Well you would not expect anything less with a blood line with what she has got hailing from Topper & Maxi Rogers dogs or Big Roger as he is fondly know by his friends & worse by his enemies this giant of a man is probably the best terrier man in the country that I know. I have had the pleasure nay honor to have worked and dug with most of them from Big Tam up in Scotland to Matt mad dog Norman down in Devon & Big Roger and the Bristol boys in between & many more. I think Gyp really impressed the Bristol boys & I know Ryan was holding his head up well proud of his little dog, I held my own with my cricket bat which was fondly named the rat bat as I knocked them for a six(excuse the punn). I don’t think one of the lads liked the rats flying past him through the air, like that as he said he hates rats in a very high pitched voice, I wont take the micky out of him any longer we will get onto his dislike of crows another time, Well I think that Lizsa was very impressed with our efforts, and has asked us to sort the bunny problem out on the farm too.As she handed each one of us a box full of fresh organic veg & a case of home made cider a piece, We left there with one very happy land owner & some very tired but chuffed countrymen & some amazing dogs that just declared world war 3 on the rat population in my part of Somerset, Watch this space guys there will be more exciting tale from the Woodspring Boys & The Ole Hedge Creeper ;-).
Regards Rob Collins