Freddy the Ferret goes on Holiday

Kingsgate cliffs, Kentish coast

Kingsgate cliffs, Kentish coast

Of all the bizarre things that have happened to me over the years, when I’ve been travelling, the following incident was not one this writer’s mind could ever have imagined. Last autumn, when I couldn’t find anywhere to stay in a hostel or camping ground, I decided to pitch my little tent in the wild for a night.

The temperatures that night began to plummet and it was suddenly bitterly cold. It was early in the evening, but utterly dark and I was about to snuggle into my warming covers, when suddenly some creature made a determined assault on one side of my tent, trying to burrow its way underneath and through the tent’s bottom. Bevor long, my tent was invaded by what I thought in my panic was a huge rat. I’d dropped by torch, so couldn’t at first find the creature, but when its red eyes finally flashed up in my torchlight, I discovered to my utter amazement that my tent had been invaded by an albino ferret!

After an epic battle that lasted more than an hour, I gave up trying to evict the ferret. By now it was quite late and there was no way I could find accommodation anywhere else. Since I wouldn’t survive a night out – and the ferret wouldn’t either – we had to make the best of things and SHARE a sleeping bag and covers. The ferret was obviously used to human contact, which is why it had sought me out in the first place. My theory is that some homeless person use to look after little Freddy the Ferret, but lost him some day in the dark woods and undergrowth. Now Freddy, as I promptly named the little intruder, was quite content to make a new holiday acquaintance – ME!

Eyes glowing in the dark...Since then, I’ve been keeping an eye on him, supplying him with food throughout the winter, since no animal shelter would take a half-wild, feral ferret on the run from authorities. He seems to be thriving so far and has taken over the shelter I built for him with relish, snuggling into an old duvet every day at dawn, after a couple of hours of activity.

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