Alison Goulding: Get a grip

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SOMETIMES you wonder what people are thinking about.

I have followed the story of schoolboy Emmanuel Adams and the jackdaw bird that has taken a shine to him with delight.

Emmanuel began caring for the bird after it started pestering children at St Mary’s RC Primary School, and the pair have become inseparable.

So I felt quite sad to read in the Echo that someone who heard the story then complained to the RSPCA, who decided the bird should be released.

Thank God for wildlife police officer PC Nick Pearson, who stepped in and pointed out that the bird has been ‘imprinted’, meaning he believes he is human.

It is illegal for an imprinted bird to be released into the wild.

You would think that would be the end of it, but the article concluded with a rambling quote from the charity banging on about upholding the law.

I say to these well-meaning busybodies – especially the person who complained – get a grip.

In the pretence of caring for the bird, don’t neglect the message given to this caring 10-year-old boy.

What lesson would he learn if his efforts and time were rewarded with heartbreak?

Rescuing and caring for animals is part of many childhoods and demonstrates the very best of human nature.

Who hasn’t put food out for a stray? Or tried to help a creature in distress?

One of my earliest memories is saving a caterpillar from being blended up by the lawn mower for goodness sake.

The jackdaw is clearly not suffering, so let’s apply some common sense.

When there are so many animals in genuine need of help, why waste a second nit-picking over instances like this?

My friend found a starving horse in a field recently, and reported it to the RSPCA.

She rang several times when she learned that the owners of the horse were coming to collect it, as she feared what they would do to it.

Unfortunately they got to the horse before anyone could intervene and it ‘disappeared.’

Who knows what happened to the poor thing? I’d bet good money it wasn’t nice.

Cases like this need to be the top priority, and I’m sure that most of the time they are.

So it seems to me to be a real waste of time to cast judgement on the good intentions of a child.

We are just not trying hard enough if this is all we can do, unlike PC Nick Pearson, who is a credit to the police.

IN other animal news this week ...

My friend’s mum has discovered a fieldmouse’s nest in her woodpile.

In a move that smacks of Enid Blyton-levels of twee-ness, the little blighter has carefully removed half of the flower heads from the primrose plant to line its nest with. We are thinking of getting it a little ‘Welcome’ mat to complete its luxury crib.