I picked up two exceptionally well-spoken ladies, who had enjoyed an excellent play at the theatre.
We discussed the play, driving and traffic, satnavs, and the perils of being a pedestrian, amongst other things.
One lady asked me where I live. I told her, and mentioned how much my partner and I had enjoyed seeing a deer in our neighbour’s garden. I also mentioned that I had seen an otter while driving home, two weeks earlier.
“An OTTER!” the lady exclaimed joyfully, in her cut-glass accent. “How lovely! Oh, I love otters!”
“They are beautiful creatures,” I agreed. “It was a treat to see one.”
The lady continued, “When I was a little girl, my father was Master of the local Otter Hunt. It was great sport!”
“Oh, really?” I asked, feeling dismayed.
“Yes!” the lady continued. “I loved it when they found one! Such lovely creatures!”
“What happened to the otters once they had been found?” I asked, wondering if I was missing something.
“Oh, well, they would be taken to the vets, and… well, you know!” the lady explained. “They were considered terrible nuisances back then. Of course, these days, they are an endangered species.”