“Subaru” is one of the people that I have met through “The Gardener”, and since our first meeting we have spent a lots of time together.
One of the most memorable times with “Subaru” was when I shot my first Roe buck, this however is not the story that I am going to tell now. It had been a very wet day, and we had been beating on a local shoot and on the way home “Subaru” suggested that we offer our services to “The Gardener” and pick up on the evenings duck flight. This suggestion would mean getting out of the warm Subaru pickup climbing back into soaking clothes and standing in the rain whilst someone else shot. Not as silly as it seams when the landlord farmer is a welcoming giant of a man who provides good food and free cider, which waswell worth getting wet for.
As the light fell I splashed off across the meadows, with the gun for whom I was picking up. The moon was hidden behind rain clouds, and the wind was slapping the rain into my face. As we arrived on the peg at a bend in the river which was in fact hidden from us as the water here was about a foot over the bank and swilling around the dogs middle. We had only been on our peg a few minutes when we heard gunfire further down the river, soon the widgeon were whistling past us. Being saluted by loud bangs and then a splash. I sent the dog, and before he could return, the gun had dropped a mallard. Two ducks for three shots not a bad start. After another ten minutes of flight, we had collected three further ducks, one of which had been retrieved from the river in full flow. The dog set off diving into the river, and followed the bird into the consuming darkness, and when he finally returned after what seemed like a very long five minutes, it was with a wounded mallard. We made our way back in the ceaseless rain.
We were all parked at the bottom of hill and the water was running down the grass and swelling the over flowing river. We were invited back to the farmhouse for supper (I love it when a plan comes together!), and after removing our wet clothes and stowing the dog safely in the back, we clambered back into cab of the pickup.
At the bottom of the hill we watched as the 4×4 owners put their machines through their paces. It was with some effort that they were making their way up the sodden hill. “Subaru” put his pickup in 4 wheel drive and set off, after we had got about half way up the hill it was obvious that we were going to have to try again, this time with the assistance of the lower gear box. We rolled to the bottom of the hill, and then off we went again, this time much more sure footed
No problem we powered to towards the top of the hill, as we caught up to the back vehicle Subaru said “I had better not slow down because I’ll stop”. As we powered past the back marker, it was by now very dark and as we closed up on another vehicle Subaru switch off his lights so that he did not dazzle any one, mistake! We pulled out to overtake The Gardener in his truck. As we pulled level, I returned the rude signs that were coming from the back of the truck. We were at the top of the hill first, as we broke the brow we turned and aimed at the gateway. (for some of the pain that I was about to suffer, I take some blame. As I should have been wearing a seatbelt). We were doing about thirty miles an hour across the field, when BANG! “strewth, I’d better not stop now”. Bang! again not as loud though, as we landed back on our wheels. As the car came to stop “Subaru” turned to me and asked if I was alright. I turned and as I attempted to reply, my jaw snapped back into place with a sickening crack. This was immediately followed by a hot needle of pain, “just” was all I could reply.
The others pulled up along side whooping and hollering. “Didn’t you see the new trench?” Stupid bloody question if you ask me.
I climbed from the pickup and noticed a dent, which had been caused during the accident. This dent was in the cab roof, and was where my head connecting with the cab roof, had prevented my body from being launched into orbit. As I made my way to the front of the pickup, I noticed a bulge in the wheel arch that I had to walk around.
A drainage ditch had been dug into the field, we had almost got over the three foot gap when the front valance had nicked the lip of the ditch.
A quick inspection of the pickup showed only minor damage, quarter of a ton of top soil wedged under the front bumper, wheel arches three inches more proud and the pickup four inches shorter. Not to mention a dent to passenger side of cab roof. As we arrived back at the farm house it was pointed out to me that I looked like one of the fire men from Trumpton, I had two large red blotches, that were also hot to the touch, one on each cheek.