So here I am, it's the year 2015 and I'm standing on the river bank - catch and release only of course - adorned in my best and latest gear with the mandatory flies stuck in me 'at and my super-dooper laser rod looped nicely with fifty-yard casting line.
The only item to mar this idyllic scene is the cormorant on my shoulder which unconsciously shits from time-to-time despite the reassurances of the Chinese trader who told be that he was a "velly clean and considelate bird from good family".
Yes; time has passed, but at least there's no rifle shooting to be heard any more - well, at least very little, and that from the chosen few in the Game preserving Bureau or those who can afford the books of certification required. Ever since one-man - one- dog rules came into play, where every stalker must have a dog or have his firearms certificate revoked, and total certification about dress rules for stalking - including morning toilet etc., very few people have been able to even think about stalking and deer, once reviled as being far too numerous by the parent nature associations, have now expanded so far that they are dying from stress-related diseases.
But never mind, stalking gave way to another whole branch of deer sport which IS approved by the Game preserving Bureau, that of looking for them with little doggies who find the diseased and dying deer, then flip a little stick into thier mouths in order to indicate to their masters that the quarry has been located.
It is rumoured that some of these clever canines have beeen taught to fart through a whistle and short-cut the whole process, but that might just be a little far-fetched.
If my old lab found such a beast, and if it was dead, he would return with a huge grin, his belly hanging like an old lion and stinking to high heaven.
More farts to clear the house for a few days.
Speaking of which - I wish this ruddy cormorant would stop farting next to my ear !
Then there's the sporadic sound of one or two remaining guns to pheasants. Not everyone can afford the required falcon for catching-up on wounded birds - one man - one falcon certification, and anly falcons allowed - no crows painted to look like kites allowed for the working beaters as they have been accused of finding decaying birds.
Cleaning up the woods on Sundays after a shoot ! - that was malicious fun invented by keen dogmen for weekend amusement and gathering-in wing-tipped birds for their own use. Very few of the spannels and labs could write anyway so most failed their tests.
Ah well, 'better get on I suppose. I'll see if I can raise that wily old, battle-scarred trout over there.
DAMN ! That cormorant has fallen off my shoulder - dead ! That's the third one this week. I must be putting the choke collar on too tight.
I'll never afford another on for this season so I suppose that I'd better pack up and go in case the warden calls round and gives me a ticket.
I hear that he arrested a bloke the other day for not having a viably certificated cormorant, guaranteed to retreive any fish which broke the line or got off the hook.
Ah well, at least I can still come to the river bank now and then - under permit of course. Youi now have to have a certificate which says that you are trained on how to walk beside a river bank.
At least I'll be able to clean the crap off my jacket shoulder for keeps this time.
I wonder if a parrot would suffice for the job - - - -Nah ! I get out of the house to escape one naggin' voice as it is - - - - - - - .