Confessions: Blame The Buzzards

Twenty years ago, when Simon was a whippersnapper presenter on BBC Radio 1, he received thousands of letters from listeners confessing their darkest secrets and worst misdemeanours, begging for his forgiveness. Every day, Father Mayo read out a confession - and then he'd decide whether to grant forgiveness or not.

Now Confessions is back on BBC Radio 2 Drivetime. Read a Confession below, then Send Simon Your Confession

 

Dear Simon and forgiving souls

My confession goes back to the mid 1990s when my wife and I were happy, carefree, but impoverished newlyweds.

We had moved into our first house, a small cottage by a stream in rural Scotland. Although idyllic, it wasn't exactly spacious and we dreamed of living somewhere bigger than a shoebox at some stage in the future.

Anyway, my wife and I, and our two cats, were generally very happy, especially the cats who had miles of countryside in which to hunt and terrorise the local wildlife.

Our nearest neighbours lived just across the stream from us in what had been a small single story cottage like ours, but had been extended over the years into what was now a quite large and rather nice - house.

Our jealousy was only added to by our neighbour constantly commenting on how small our house was and how he was planning another extension, an extra holiday, or another new car. All in all he was quite an irritating and unpleasant fellow.

As noted, our cats were voracious hunters and brought home little presents for us on a daily basis, mice, birds, you know the type of thing. One advantage of having a stream in front of your house is that gifts of this type are easily disposed off... simply scoop them up with a shovel, toss then into the water, and job done!

Anyway, one day my aim wasn't so great and the unfortunate rodent missed the stream and landed on the roof of our neighbours conservatory much to my amusement.

Over the coming weeks this ritual became part of my daily routine. Scoop up assorted dead and mauled rodents and deposit skilfully onto the neighbours roof.

Even the occasional whiff of small rotting corpses and our neighbours complaints about a local buzzard that kept dropping its prey on his roof didn't make me see sense.

One glorious summer morning I was up and about early, only to find that one of our cats had obviously stumbled across an especially large rabbit sometime the night before. This was very dead and only partly eaten, and so was dispatched in the same way as all the other recent presents left by our cats. Job done and back inside to make breakfast.

I should probably at this stage mention that I am not seeking forgiveness for the hundreds of small animals that our cats despatched over the years, after all, cats do what cats do.

I am also not really seeking forgiveness from our neighbour either. I know that throwing dead animals onto his roof is not a particularly neighbourly act, but he was a terrible snob and a show-off so I think we are even on this score.

No, I am really seeking forgiveness from our neighbours nine year old daughter. You see on returning to our house to make breakfast that morning I suddenly heard a scream, then another and another… in fact quite a lot of screaming actually.

On rushing out of the house to see what was going on I could hear that the screams were coming from our neighbours open attic window.

I am sure that you can probably piece together the sequence of events that had led to a nine year old girl waking up to find a large, dead, and half eaten rabbit staring at her from her pillow - and to her father cursing and swearing about how awful the local buzzards were.

In mitigation, I would like to point out that the screaming did stop after about an hour and anytime I met the daughter after that she seemed okay if a bit nervous of wildlife.

Our neighbours moved house a few months later (can't think why), we have moved on too, and our cats are long gone as well. I still have occasional pangs of guilt about my actions, and hope that by sharing this I can finally rest easy in the knowledge of forgiveness.

Am I forgiven?

Steve

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