Mrs E awoke me at 2:30 to alert me to the ducks quacking outside the window. We lost one to Mr Fox a week ago when he crept across the ice to them.
So it was on with Uncle Percy's overcoat over the dressing gown and out I went with the Marlin underlever to try and deliver some 357 Magnum 125 Grain Full Metal Jacket Flat Christmas Cheer to our visitor.
He scuttled off the through the fence too quickly and by the time I was over the road he had headed for the hills. But the moon was out, the snow was crisp and his tracks were trackable.
I failed to catch up with him but the armed stroll up onto the downs on such a night was worthwhile. Not a soul apart from me was stirring, miles across the valley street lights sparkled but otherwise I was only in the company of the friendly ghosts who have trod these ancient hills on thousands of winters in the past pitting their wits against the weather and wild animals.