We got home from shopping to discover the chicks had found a small gap in the netting and the six smallest had made a break for the great outdoors. Unfortunately this was a neighbour's field: she has two or three unpleasant dogs, depending on whether her harpy of a mother is there, and the voice of a fishwife. These are her plus points. They speak highly of us too, apparently. Anyway, the dogs were kicking off and the chicks were heading off like Woodstock's scout troop. No amount of food calls or dispenser rattling was going to bring them back. Harry, our one-year-old tabby, watched this with interest then went over the fence. He soon caught up with the wanderers and turned them round, herding back to the fence where we could grab them. He even went back for one who'd shot off into a hedgerow. This isn't his first intervention: one of our young Rocks had a narrow escape from a buzzard but she was down, stunned and injured and ripe for its next attack. We hadn't even seen Harry but he appeared from nowhere, picked up the downed bird and carried her to the woodshed. As soon as we arrived he dropped her and trotted over to be praised. She was lame for a couple of weeks but has made a full recovery. Between ribbon-bedecked string and netting and posts with glittery things the garden now looks like we're trying to repel paratroops not raptors.