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Mysterious hole

On a walk with the dogs today to an area of steep hillside near the house where I rarely go, I came across a hole.

The mysterious hole

It didn’t immediately strike me as being an animal’s den because its main thrust, so to speak, was vertically down rather than horizontally into the bank.

I had a walking stick with me and I prodded into the dead leaves at the bottom: it didn’t seem to go anywhere.

The strange thing was that, just before finding the hole, I’d noticed, as if marking out its location, 4 saplings snapped off near the top with the broken part left dangling. This was no coincidence and definitely the work of a human.

So what was some surreptitious hunter signposting, either for his own purposes or those of someone else?

Did it mean that the hole itself was the work of a human and if so, what could it possibly be for? Hiding-place for contraband? Wine cooler?

Alternatively, it might have been made by an animal, and the hunter had left signs so he could find it again.

It could have been dug by a wild boar. The pits they scraped in the vegetable garden looking for truffles were deep and neat. But their visit was characterised by multiple holes: in fact they fair honeycombed the ground. This was just one hole.

Porcupines dig burrows, but they would have gone deeper. They also sleep during daylight hours in tunnels of bent grasses, but this was far too laboured to be a casual resting-place.

I’m mighty puzzled.

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