The hounds were all gathered in the pub car park at 7pm. Well, most of the hounds. Hotlips had told Stiffy that the trail was from The Plough in East Hendred. There was no-one else there but ths was nto a surprise as Stiffy insists on arriving so early there is never anyone else they when they arrive. Luckily they were giving Annus Interruptus a lift and he tentatively suggested that the trail was actually from The Plough in West Hanney! They arrived 1 minute late. Unheard of. But still ahead of Wimpey and Lemony and Dipstick, who decided there was time for a pint and popped into the pub. Mudder was wearing her pussy cat leggings to celebrate International Cat Day.
The trail worked its way through the village and then into the wood that ran down between the two lanes to the south east. Here we wiggled up and down and left and right. The hare marked the trail perfectly as it was in the middle of the wood that Comet caught us up. She kept looking behind for Uranus who had decided, on getting out of the car and realising the pack had set off, it was the right time to mend his watch! We ran through a false mark (the hare later confided that the hounds had gone wrong but he chose to “go with the flow”) and towards the edge of the trees where he caught us up.
The trail cut across to Bradfield Grove Farm and then turned north towards East Hanney. A long straight leg gave the runners a chance to stretch their legs. By now we were in East Hanney and Dipstick was feeling thirsty again. Luckily the Black Horse came into view (the pub, not Lloyds Bank) so he popped in for a pint.
We left the village at the north end and went west across the fields. It was about here that the walkers saw the hare waiting for them. He was a little worried that they had got lost and was there to escort them and show a couple of short cuts. Or was it that he was a bit tired from laying the trail earlier in the evening and he didn’t want to run the pointless leg that was coming up? The runners kept going, straight across Winter Lane and on to the bridge over the stream. The check was on the other side and they searched for some time before realising that the trail went back over the bridge and across the same field, albeit at an angle. The hare, with his new friends, entered the field just in time to see the runners re-crossing it. His party short-cutted and met them at the edge of the village but still experienced the hay hurdling as they crossed the ridges of hay across the field. Hurdling was not a good option though as it was very slippery.
A short wiggle through the streets brought us back along Church Street where Wimpey and Mudder both made a huge fuss of a huge ginger and white cat. Neither of them was allowed to take him home!
There were no shirts to award but Ringer said, if he had one at his disposal it would have had to go to Stiffy for going to the wrong pub.
Hare: Gnome Alone
Hounds: Big Stiffy, Hotlips, Wimpey, Lemony Snickett, Uranus, Comet, Scrumptious, Annus Interruptus, Hand Job, Scrubber, Hutch, Mudder, Out to Lunch, Penny Pitstop, Miss Whiplash, Edina, Saffie, Rubber Sole, Dipstick, Ringer and Ratatouille
Date: 15 August 2017
Distance: 4 miles