A weekly round-up of rural rumpuses

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The Independent Online
A weekly round-up of rural rumpuses

A dead duck caused upset in Giggleswick, north Yorkshire. Gertrude, who had lived in the town for five years, was mown down while crossing Main Street. She left eight ducklings. No one has owned up to the killing, so a "wanted" poster has been stuck in the post office asking for information as to the motorist responsible. Postmaster Alan Barclay said: "Together with her drake boyfriend, Donald, Gertrude would waddle up to the post office daily and tap the door with her bill before being allowed in... She was a real character."

A man who kept the head of a badger in his deep freeze was freed from jail. James Pipes, 21, of York, had been jailed for three months a week before for possessing part of an endangered species, but he successfully appealed on the grounds that the sentence was too severe. Pipes had said he found the animal's body on a river bank, and took the head home to mount on the wall. But Judge John Cotton said: "There seems to be an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, and the suspicion that Pipes is covering up for somebody."