“This dog’s got greyhound in him” says he.
“No, he’s a collie cross – this, that and something else, but not greyhound, long legs though.” A minute’s pause whilst we watch Les pull a load of mud with grass growing out of it – a lawn basically – out of our gutter.
“Yeah, greyhound. I thought so. I had one just like this once, collie/greyhound cross it were. Used to catch rabbits just fine. Twenty, thirty at a time. I used to get a quid a pop. I would sit at the table in The Crown in Newport and people would come from all over – Wolverhampton. They’d give me a pound and take one off the table. The dog would be lying under it, asleep like.”
“We’d have bought some off you if you were still doing it, my wife makes a lovely rabbit stew in, um, mustard cream sauce. Crisp green salad to mop…” I was hearing myself saying this and sort of tailed off into silence, leaving the sentence uncompleted, as I wondered if even Anne could have sounded any more like a middle-class wanker. Les meanwhile was showering us with gutter detritus, so maybe he heard me...
“What we would do was shine the lamp and catch the rabbit in it, and the dog would catch sight of them and go around and end up behind them, stood over them, and they were still frozen in the light.”
“Clever that, going around the back – that’s the collie in him.”
“No, he wouldn’t kill ‘em. He’d bring ‘em back to me and I’d pull their neck.” He does a little demonstration. “I was earning more money from doing that than from working, like."
“Amazing – shame you don’t still do it, I’d have bought one. Two. Make rabbit pie with the leftovers, that’s my favourite”
“Aye, I know, you don’t see anyone eating them anymore. Sad.”