When you live on acreage, you need to learn how to dispose of corpses. As Jackie French reminds us, there is a historical proverb that says simply ‘if you have livestock, you have dead stock.’ Milo, our Monster Dog (think fairy floss brain inside Irish Wolfhound body) caught his first rabbit and spent a day running around flapping the poor corpse around his face. He loved that thing like a toddler loves his blankie – until I took it away and buried it, using my old trick of putting bricks, pots, rocks or milk crates over the grave. It worked before, but now he is more mature and has the smell of that bunny in his nostrils and has managed to get the raggedy remains of the body out of the ground a number of times. Fortunately, like most blankies, the rabbit corpse has shrunk with all the loving, flapping and rolling that Milo has inflicted on it. There are shreds left and he’s bored. Until MIL comes to alert me that Milo is on the prowl and showing interest in older graves. Specifically that of my beloved Buff Orpington hen, who died suddenly and mysteriously and required a hole like a kitchen sink to fit her in. How to deal, how to deal? I dragged a bale of straw, left over seating from our daughter’s birthday party and rotting quietly away under a tree, and plonked it on the grave. Problem solved. The Wolfhound body can’t move it and the fairy floss brain can’t sustain a line of enquiry as to how to get under it. We do love Milo.
Lesson learned: #1 Bury your bodies deep and well, and always cover the graves. Handily, this will also give you a marker for future hole digging and prevent any unfortunate mowing surprises. And #2 Strawbales are always, always useful for something on acreage.