Today started out just like any other day, until I went out into the field and found this.

I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but it looked for all the world like a fairly large bird had done a ‘kamikaze’ style nose dive into an old mole hill, leaving itself embedded in the soil with just a few tatty wing feathers sticking out.

After taking the photo I tugged gently at the feathers and was quite surprised to encounter some resistance. I tugged again, but it was obvious that, whatever it was, I needed to dig it out.

I gently inserted my trowel and pulled, and pulled, and pulled again. What emerged was pretty grisly and far bigger than either of us expected. It had undoubtedly once been a hen, a rather nice reddy-brown speckled one if the feathers, that emerged from the soil, were anything to go by.

In fact feathers were just about all that was left, joined together with some sinews, but how had it got like this? There followed a fairly heated discussion as to what had caused this phenomenon. We quickly  dismissed the idea of a ‘kamikaze chicken’ or a very hungry mole rising up to drag the un-suspecting chuck to an untimely death below.

I was in favour of it having been buried by a predator, but Peter said this was impossible as it was so well embedded in the soil and the immediate area around it was neat and tidy.

The best idea we could come up with was that years ago the previous owners of the garden had, for some reason, buried a chicken in the field. Feathers don’t rot and we have learnt to our cost that the previous owners had form for such things.

Gradually over time and mole activity, what remained of the carcass gradually made it’s way to the surface, until it could be smelt by a passing fox, who tried unsuccessfully to pull it out last night.

With me so far, because it gets a bit stranger.

Having settled on this theory we went to sit on the bench. As I looked towards the other side of the field I noticed a pink rubber ball, about the size of a grapefruit, and identical to one I had found in roughly the same place a couple of days previously.

When I went over to retrieve it I found another slightly smaller orange ball not far away, and on going to retrieve that I found a piece of garden cane with a green plastic attachment on one end that looked like it was part of some kind of  ‘clip together’ self-assembly kit.

Where any of these items had come from, or why they were in the middle of our field, I have no idea. Over the years we have had the odd football, or beer bottle when the pub was open, and in November we get spent rockets, whose sticks are very useful as plant supports, but there are no children living nearby so none of this made any sense at all.

It was whilst we were trying to get our heads round this second puzzle of the day, that I noticed the feathers. Reddy-brown speckled hen feathers just about as far away from the kamikaze site as it was possible to be, but undoubtedly from the same hen.

How did this fit in with our theory, particularly as I am convinced that amongst these feathers I found a piece of bone with some blood on it. Bright red blood, not 14 year old blood.

Peter says I was being fanciful about the blood, but couldn’t offer an alternative identification.  So, there we are, a selection of little mysteries to conjure with.