‘Ghar’ Notes - Dec 2009

By SSM Tom Holland
1 December 2009

“Be vaarwy, vaarwy quite… we’re hunting ….Dogs?” Though that may seem a little out of wack, wild animals do come in all kinds and types over here on the Ghar. As the new residents in this neck of the woods (no, there are no trees, it’s just an expression) we live inside an ecosystem all of its own.

To be succinct, Marlin Perkins could film 2 episodes alone just on the critters around the Ghar (not including the 2 legged kinds). It’s a dog eat dog world out there. Literally, as there is a type of Jackal that roams around outside the wire and continuously tries to imitate its more majestic cousin from back home, the wolf. I say tries because their night howls are kind of pathetic. Within the Ghar we have some dogs that have decided to take up residence. But they are at least earning their keep. These dogs hate jackals and as such whenever one decides to test the defences he usually finds a 4 footed warrior waiting for him on the inside. The fights can usually be heard at night and so far, the jackals have never won.

But there are other warriors of a smaller stature who battle for us inside the wire. Several cats live on Ghar as well. Their enemy... far too many mice, spiders, snakes etc. These are domestic cats, the descendants, so it is said, of North American cats brought in to quell the rodent population. Since then, they’ve claimed back a bit of their wild heritage. Although there are mouse traps everywhere the cats are winning as you are more then likely to see one with a mouse than a mouse in at trap.

Last (I think) is little Ricki Ticki Tavi, a mongoose of Rudyard Kippling fame. These are about as nasty a creature as you can get. They hide in the rocks, under seacans, behind every nook and cranny and wait for supper… snakes, mice, scorpions. If it’s nasty, they eat it. They are very elusive and you have to be quick to see one (which is why they are so good with the snakes).

Due to this menagerie, the Sheriff WO Marty Wheeler is charged with population control, thus he is double hatted as the dog catcher as well. He and his deputy MCpl Glenn Duffield ensure that the residents of the Ghar remain safe while in this safari land. This, as always, is a necessary task as can be seen by some famous dog catchers in the past. Right RSM?