Old wives tales – Unscientific advocacies of folklore, passed through clans courtesy of misguided indoctrination by elders and ‘betters’? Or useful alternatives to conventional solutions? A topic I raise following earlier overhearing a friend bequeath one of these tales to an indifferent audience.
Bestowed during a discussion on horticulture, they ‘thrilled’ congregated friends with advice of “The only really effective way to protect your flora and fauna from slugs and snails is to attract a thrush into your garden.” Embellishing further, this breed of avian is particularly partial to devouring these terrestrial gastropod molluscs.
Consequently, their regular frequentation of a garden should result in a cull of these little critters. Pests who uninvitedly feast on your much loved hostas, digitalis, lupins and bedding plants.
I was grateful for my friends input into a solution into suppressing plant damage. Now all I have to do is find an old wives tale providing details of how I can attract a thrush into my garden, then I’ll be sorted. Sadly, my current strategy of nailing a sign to the garden fence advertising ‘All Thrushes Welcome’ has thus far failed to bear fruit… Or indeed a thrush.
One of the individuals in our party who was also ‘lucky’ enough to hear this pearl of wisdom from the cauldron, advised they’d recently attempted using bowls of beer to mitigate against ravenous molluscs. Sadly, that had no effect other than see an increase in drunken Friday night fights between garden molluscs…… As with human’s, the drink only made them hungrier. Bereft of a mucky kebab, they gorged on a last night feast on petunias.
Anyhow, consequently I now aspire to find a solution to the conundrum of being thrush-free….. Incidentally, that’s the garden I’m referring to!!
Until I find that silver bullet to negate against horticultural decimation by molluscs in the absence of a thrush, I’m reliant on the success of my other fence sign. A stern notice bearing the warning ‘Trespassing Snails, Slugs and Anything Else Thrushes Eat Will Be Prosecuted’.
Admittedly, this warning message is a long shot, particularly as slug’s, snails and other thrush prey are unlikely to have the wherewithal to read the notification, or indeed be concerned about the threat of litigation.
However, being bereft of a more robust strategy, it’s a better approach than undertaking nada…… Actually, on reflection it isn’t – Best take that sign down when I conclude this narrative.
I fully understand the need to humanely dispose of garden pests, however it’s a strategy that restricts your options when seeking to commit mass molluscocide. For instance, some chemical deterrents aren’t expensive, not to mention caution is required to avoid harming neighbourhood pets.
Additionally, there will always be someone who’ll judgementally demeaning the cull by citing excuses like snails have the intelligence of Stephen Fry. Or that we should embrace molluscs imbibing our plants as that species heroically flew spitfires against the Nazis in ‘The Battle of Britain’.
To be honest I hate killing anything. I’m not really a believer in re-incarnation, however, in the absence of conclusive proof it doesn’t exist, I prefer to play it safe and not actively seek to take the life of any creature.
After all, the fly who’s irritating me by flying around my bonce as I write could be one of my passed relatives looking to relay something important. Essential information such as an upcoming cheese offer at Sainsburys, or details of a forthcoming innovation in McDonalds menus.
As my conversational Fly is erratic at best, if the insect is a re-incarnated member of the brood, I’d be reliant on them to verbally interact in English.
Should it be my grandad or great uncle George, can you do me a favour and just let me complete this narrative in peace. In recompense, I’ll uncover the roast beef you were coveting earlier.
Right, I’m off in search of a thrush.