SO, what else has been happening? Oh, I see. Nothing. Well, if the world of humans is all indoors at the moment, perhaps we should take a peek from behind our net curtains at the marvellous and appalling world of animals.

A colleague observed to me that it was wonderful, and reassuring, to see them just going about their business at a time like this. With the exception of owls, they don’t give a hoot.

I’m speaking aboot proper, wild animals, mind. The domesticated ones must be properly bewildered by the current situation, many (dogs) delighted to have their owners home during the day, while others (cats) resent it and wish this godawful business was over.

I must say it was a trifle disturbing to see photos and films of wild animals stravaiging aboot oor empty cities as if they owned the place. Hardly have we got one foot out of the door than they’re in there, rooting and snuffling and otherwise behaving disgracefully. They’re like animals, some of them.

It added a new, sinister note to the post-apocalyptic feel that has gripped the world. It was as if humankind had at last been eradicated from the face of Mother Earth, who has tried every cream in Boots’ sensitive range to get rid of us.

Wild boar have been waddling aboot the streets of Barcelona; a puma turned up in Santiago town centre; wild turkeys are stoating aboot the streets of Oakland, California; while sika deer have been trying self-service machines in the metro stations of Nara, Japan.

The AFP news agency reports: “Indian social media has gone wild about footage of a stag scampering through Dehradun, the capital of the northern state of Uttarakhand.”

This might read oddly to folk in Scotland more used to seeing deer leaping hither and, with a good tail-wind, yon. Admittedly, though, you don’t often see them in the streets and bars.

I’ve just put up deer-proof saplings for a hedge and we all know what’s going to happen, right? Correct: the deer are going to eat them. They’re beautiful animals but no respecters of horticultural endeavour. I’ve taken to leaving garden centre invoices on branches to see if that pricks their consciences. I wouldn’t hold your breath.

I’m ambivalent about deer-stalking, though for the good of the wider environment there appears to be a need for it. As long as it’s quick and doesn’t leave bairns pining for parents, then fine. However, not for sport or pleasure. And, certainly, anyone earning over a certain income – say, 25k – should be banned from taking part, to keep twisted toffs away.

The coronavirus has led to the hunting season in backward, foreign countries being suspended. But, in some of these, the war against wildlife continues, with Norway leading the way.

Everyone has trouble reconciling the saintly, socially advanced Norskies with animal cruelty but, yep, they’re at it again, preparing to snub the world and go massacring minke whales.

At one point in my journalistic life, I’d occasion to argue the issue not just with Norskies but with Faroese (nutters, all nutters) and Icelanders (completely deranged).

The Faroese, in particular, argued that their peculiar practice of killing dolphins with screwdrivers and other DIY implements was a celebration of local tradition. I thought this a fair point, provided they conceded that, afterwards, their villages should be flattened by United Nations tanks.

Don’t admire the Scandinavians uncritically, folks. They’re just as peculiar as the rest of us. It’s a funny old world anyway, isn’t it? We’re stuck in the hoose. The animals are having a field day, so to say. But, deep down, they know we’ll be back. For we are top dog. King of the jungle. Cock on the dung-heap.

Clarty poopers

SOME idiot mentioned wildlife earlier, and I have to report that I’ve been having trouble with mice and rooks. As usual, they let themselves down with their behaviour.

I’ll be quite candid with you here and confess that I don’t mind mice in the house and, as long as they don’t run over my face in the middle of the night, I often become friends with them. But that’s when there’s only one at a time. And it’s fair to say I’ve only seen one of late.

But there’s such a lot of poop there must surely be more. Regular readers know I don’t do poop. It’s deplorable stuff that should be banned, and is the main reason why I don’t have a pet.

Madam, I see that you are looking at my suet balls strangely. It’s no wonder. For rooks have been eating them. I put them out for the wee garden birds, and these monsters come down and finish them off in minutes.

They can’t be too particular, as the garden birds keep pooping in their own feeder. Honestly, what is wrong with these creatures?

Apart from anything else, I feed them every day and yet they fly away at my approach – apart from one wee dunnock that fluffs itself and says: “Yeah? What d’you want?”

I proclaim to them: “It’s me, the man who feeds you! You should be worshipping me as a god!” But they just peep at me from the foliage and do more poops. It’s disgraceful.

Take a running jump

ONE species of wildlife that we can all agree to dislike is … the jogger.

Often seen in parks, but also on urban streets, they depress the lieges with their grim, self-absorbed faces and their ugly, deformed legs pumping furiously as they run to no other purpose than self-preservation occasioned by a morbid and cowardly fear of death or obesity.

The current crisis, with its social distancing, has led to a welcome backlash against these fetid narcissi, not just for their spattering sweat and gales of rancid breath, but because they expect everyone to make way for them.

I still bridle at the memory of an incident when I stopped to let one by on a hill at Christmas a good few years ago. He just breenged past without a word or even nod of acknowledgement, never mind a note of festive cheer.

Why don’t they practise their pathetic hobby at home? Why don’t they put some decent trousers on? In the meantime, if one looks like breenging straight towards you, stand your ground and make him (men are, as usual, the worst) go round.

Four-letter word

EVERY person of sound mind – yes, I see a small minority of you raise your hands – must sympathise with the nation’s posties who’ve been up in arms about having to deliver junk mail, particularly at a time like this.

Junk mail is a terrible business at the best of times. Nobody wants to deliver it. Nobody wants to receive it. But all must have it. There must be a metaphor for human existence in there somewhere.

I don’t like getting letters addressed to The Occupier either. It makes it sound like I’ve invaded my own house and set up a dictatorship, with the enclosed letter containing a set of demands from the Resistance.

Unless it says “Free money!” on the front – I always fall for that one – these letters go straight in the bin unopened anyway.

Our posties should be on the roster of heroes in these difficult times. I used to be one myself, you know. Best days of my life. I was young, full of hope, happy. Well, young anyway. Useful too. Look at me now. No use to anyone. Junk male.