One big surprise on Boxing Day was that a patch of snowdrops had come out! I don’t think I’ve ever seen them in the Old Year. I spotted them as we whisked past in the car, and went out this morning to admire them. Yes, there they were, and so was a single white crocus standing up like a little candle. Naturally, the new Miss Dog decided to accompany me on this expedition. I was a lot more surprised to realise that Miss Kit was trotting after us, not least, because a venture down the drive implied that she was completely exposed and a long way from any cover or refuge. Inevitably, Miss Dog spotted her and went cantering back to — I don’t know. Investigate, anyway, or perhaps to initiate communication of some kind. Miss Kit’s response astonished me. Rather than turning sideways on and humping up the back (or indeed, fleeing for her life), she stood up on her hind legs, with her front paws dangling in front of her chest, looking surprisingly like an orange Meerkat. This brought her face pretty much to dog level, and from that advantage, she uttered a single sharp cry, like a breaking violin string. The dog seemed to interpret this without difficulty, wheeled away, and trotted off to investigate a rosebush. I must say, I thought it was terribly brave of her. It is true that she has just about taken the measure of the beastie, but, mutatis mutandis, if something twelve feet high was bearing down on me like that, I’m not certain I would stand my ground.