Feeling truly awful this morning. An entire weekend spent in bed, or snoozing on the sofa, coughing and self-medicating with red wine, codeine and Benylin. Head feels like it is being squeezed with a large, troll-sized hand. Eyes hurt when I look anywhere but straight ahead. Sinuses burn with each breath. I should really take the day off sick, but think I'll try and do a little bit anyway, as I'm ever-so-slightly behind in my current project schedule.
Also not helping is the fact that we were woken up at 6am by Nimba who brought us a little brown mouse from the garden. Cue some early morning shrieking as I catch the mouse.
'Eeee! There's another one!' Cries the wife. But it's just a curled up stereo earphone set.
I drop the mouse out of the bedroom window, fully nude as I stand on the widow ledge, and it drops down into the kitchen gutter and twitches on its back pitifully.
'Ah.' I say.
I try to get back to sleep, but feel a bit guilty about the twitching mouse outside. Especially after yesterday... I'll get to that in a minute.
At 7am, the real time for getting up, I have another look in the gutter, and happily the mouse is gone. I'm still ill though, but stagger downstairs to prepare breakfast anyway.
Yesterday I was summoned to the dining room by some frantic shouting from the wife. This time it's Enki who has a prize - a tiny brown bird. It is still alive, but barely. Most of its feathers are gone, chewed away, it has blood under it's throat and it seems to be able to twitch just one side of it's body in a rhythmic, non-too-healthy kind of way.
We spend some minutes wondering what to do. It's going to die pretty soon, we think it should be put out of its obvious misery as soon as possible. But how to do it? I suggest drowning, via the toilet and flush, but the wife wants the neck-break or head-bash instead.
Now, I'm a vegetarian, so have little call or experience for killing animals. I have killed some fish in my time though, as a boy angler, and remember the technique seemed quick and fairly humane - you would take the metal 'priest' and bang the fish's head with it. Simple as that.
So we take the twitching bird into the back yard and place it on a stone slab. I find a suitable, heavy rock and take aim, warning the wife to look away.
Okay, sorry bird, but it's for the best. BANG!
I wasn't prepared for the splat really. Bird heads appear to be a lot flimsier than fish heads. The head basically flattens and some unpleasant matter spreads out around the area. The bird now starts writhing with some energy.
'Shit.' I mourn, and hit it again, twice. Messy, nasty, it finally stops twitching.
Was that a painless, humane death? Sure as hell didn't look like it to me.