One big bold otter

We have a friend living just along the loch, a lady born and bred here and one who wouldn't mind me using the adjective 'old'. I am myself as old as she and I have no problems with it. Besides, I don't reckon the word 'old' any disparagement, nor do I think the word 'young' any kind of an accolade. You might as well disparage or praise the rising or the setting of the sun. Anyway this lady has run a croft all her life, in recent years along with one of her daughters. Their care for and their treatment of animals is a local legend. They do everything but talk with their sheep, geese, ducks, dogs and cats etcetera. They have no arguments with the sea eagles and do not shoot foxes, so far as I know.

Some years ago this lady told us she was losing a duck most nights - to an otter that had her holt with a family of cubs close to an adjacent beach. The had actually seen this raider in nocturnal action, but it all stopped when the cubs grew up and left the area - and our friend would never have sought to harm the creature anyway.

But ... of late she reports that the otters have returned, presumably with another group of babies in the holt, and have resumed their easy meal routine. In fact the otter has become so bold as to raid in broad daylight, coming right into the environs of the house to do do. Spotting him or her in action the other day she and her daughter dashed out of the house - but too late! The otter had sized a duck and was making off with it anidst much wing flapping, much squawking. The ladies managed to corner animal with bird, after a proper struggle eventually succeeding in tearing the luckless victim from its assailant's hold.

The otter runs off to raid another day - or revert to fishing for crabs in the sea as he/she may find that less contestable, but the recovered duck was well deceased and no doubt received a decent ending in hot pan or cold earth.

The crofters certainly have no hard feelings - well, just a few - although no doubt secuity is now being increased!

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