26 FEBRUARY 1954, Page 15

A Fair Bargain Yesterday when I went to the cottage

and looked out of the window at the kitchen garden, where we had enclosed a patch of curly kale and a few winter greens in a wall of wire-netting, I was surprised to discover a fine flock of pigeons taking their breakfast there. When it was much colder and food was scarce, the pigeons left the greens un- touched and fed instead on the berries of the ivy growing on the wall, but now they have set upon the greens which they seem to have kept as a reserve. As we had apparently deluded ourselves that the greens were our reserve, I thought it a fair bargain to have pigeon pie and went for the gun. When I returned to the window, more pigeons were enough for me to kill more than one with a single shot and then did ,my best to get sufficient for a pie. My first shot for some reason got only one bird. My second was baulked by the line of flight chosen by the rest and the fact that the window would open only so far. One pigeon doesn't make a pie, but it will provide a morsel for supper. I could say 'that the sixpence I spent getting one bird was worth it if I could be sure that those pigeons are not feeding in the garden at this very minute when I am too many miles away to do anything about it.