Muntjack's leap

      There we were, tanking through the brambles and dead nettle beds in the orchard in pursuit of the two Jack Russells who, in turn, were in hot pursuit of something else. When we caught up with them at the edge of a small but deep dyke, all was revealed. The worn path leading through the grass that the terriers had been following had been made by the passing of Muntjack Deer.
      The deer had worn and eroded the bank where they had jumped over the dyke and scrambled up the opposite side, their hoof prints deep and clearly visible in the soft earth.
      We do occasionally see these small deer, but it is usually only a fleeting glimpse in the undergrowth or a distant view on the other side of a field. They are to be avoided with the terriers when they have young because they have a pair of tusks that a boar would be happy with and they aren't shy of using them either. As a cautionary tale family pets have, apparently, been disembowelled by them.
      All this following trails and hoof prints makes you feel like a real hunter-gatherer.