Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Lies and Threats

Unsurprisingly, Rex has been out of sorts since his ordeal. When he arrived home, after his release from imprisonment on the farm, he was very thirsty and hungry. He devoured a couple of days rations in several hours, and then howled during the night. The next day he seemed depressed. Since then he has been eating normally and seems to have picked up a little in mood. We have been reassuring him with lots of stroking and plenty of treats. We took him to the vet who examined him and pronounced him fit and reasonably well. Rex is certainly a resilient dog, he probably learnt this because of the maltreatment he had for the first year of his life with the old farmer. The vet also told me that a dog could only live for around four days without water. So Rex had been rescued just in time.

I reported the incident to the police. They told me it was a case of animal cruelty, which made it the responsibility of the local council. I rang the officer in charge. He took down the details but told me that a successful prosecution was unlikely because there was no independent evidence of the crime. Unfortunately a dog is unable to give evidence against its abuser. He said he would visit the old farmer and give him a stern warning that any subsequent problem with him would lead to a prosecution. I wasn’t satisfied, but this seemed the best option available. Later in the week, the officer reported to me that he had visited the old farmer and had warned him, and he had denied all knowledge of the crime.

I also spoke to a near neighbour about the old farmer. They told me that his wife had left him with their young child, so the old farmer had been on his own for forty years. They said that he came from a strange family. Apparently the old farmer and his brother were known for playing vicious tricks on people for their own perverse amusement. Several decades ago they had tricked a simple farm labourer up on top of a building they were constructing and he fell 30 feet and broke several bones, but could easily have been killed.  The locking up of Rex without food and water was in the same vein. This confirmed my gut feeling that the old farmer is unbalanced and dangerous.

As the week wore on, I spoke to several other neighbours about Rex. One told me that he had visited the old farmer when Rex was missing and asked him if he had seen the dog. The old farmer replied that he hadn’t seen him, but he was glad that he was missing because he didn’t want to see him again. And this dreadful lie was spoken when he had our dog locked up just a few yards away. The other told me that the old farmer had recently told him that he was very angry with me for reporting him to the RSPCA about not feeding his own dog properly. I shook my head and laughed. The old farmer had now produced a further lie to try and deflect attention from his own dirty deeds. I then gave my neighbour the true story.

We were speaking together below the farm towards the end of the lane. Just as we finished talking, the old farmer came around a bend on his tractor. He stopped, dismounted the tractor and began shouting at me.

‘Why did you bloody report me to the RSPCA?’

‘Because you tried to kill our dog,’ I shouted back angrily. ‘You locked him up for over three days without food and water.’

‘I didn’t do that,’ he shouted

‘Oh yes you did.’ I glowered. ‘Rex would be dead now if I hadn’t rescued him from the shed you locked him in.’

He growled at me and shook his head.

‘And I reported you to the Police,’ I shouted, ‘so you’d better be careful, they’re watching you.’

‘And you’d better watch out,’ he shouted, pointing his finger at me. ‘If I see you or that bloody dog around my yard again, I’ll do you.’

At that point he turned to get back on his tractor. I set off up the lane with Rex. I was fuming at his brazen duplicity. Five lies about Rex and two threats in one week. As I strode along I made a mental note of our exchange. When I got home, I wrote everything down and reported the lies and threats to the police and to the local authority.

Later on I told T what had happened. She sympathised and hugged me, then gave a faint smile.

‘Well, you’ve now become a fully-fledged member of NI society,’ she said.

I looked at her quizzically. ‘What do you mean?’

‘You’re involved in a feud with one of your neighbours.’

I smiled ruefully. ‘It’s only taken me 20 years.’

No comments:

Post a Comment