I’m actually traumatised.
Until now, I’ve not been a proper country bumpkin – but I wasn’t a complete townie, either. Growing up, we spent a lot of time camping on farms and being outdoors and generally looking at nature.
And in our previous house, we were semi-rural.
Here, though… it’s ace. I’m regularly seeing animals and birds that most people never see. And yesterday, I experienced a bloodbath that wouldn’t have been out of place on Game of Thrones.
Every hour or so, I take a five minute break and potter up to say hi to the chickens. Yesterday, they were scratching around when Granny Featherwax suddenly went mental. And, to my horror, I saw she’d dug out a slow-worm (angius fragilis). I couldn’t get to it in time to save its tail, but the rest of it got away.
That was just interesting.
Side-note: slow-worms are neither worms nor snakes; they’re actually legless lizards, and they’re pretty little things. Being lizards, they can detach their tails in times of danger, and this one did exactly that. It was odd. It looked like someone had just cut it off cleanly.
And the tail kept wiggling. Which was… disturbing. But a great survival technique, because presumably the wiggly tail keeps the predator occupied while the part with the brain does a runner.
Then it got worse.
Nanny Egg found another one. A youngster, I think, because it was much smaller. And the three of them ripped it to bits before I could stop them. It was grim. Each of the bits kept wiggling. I had to walk away and take some deep breaths (and I’m not squeamish: I’ve fingerprinted dead bodies before and it didn’t bother me).
What has been seen cannot be unseen.
I’ve done a bit of Googling and apparently this is common. Chickens do like slow-worms. And frogs. And small mice if they can catch them. Chickens are dinosaurs, I tell you. Just look at their legs.
And we’ve not even had any eggs for a week!
But it got me thinking: we’d all do better if we could jettison our tails if they were causing us trouble. What I mean by that somewhat tortured metaphor is that if something isn’t working for you, in your business or your life, and you can’t make it work… perhaps it’s time to cut it off.
Whether that’s an ad in a magazine, a client who’s nothing but trouble, a supplier who’s nothing but trouble, an acquaintance who’s all take and no give – whatever. The point is, if it’s not working for you and you’re getting nothing out of it, perhaps it’s time to ditch it.
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.
PS Want to shed some light on things that will work for you and your business? Grab a copy of my book, Business For Superheroes here.