All quiet in the pond today, so I went to see if the ducks were still in residence. On the way through the thick grass, I nearly stepped on a snake. I grabbed the cat who had followed me, and locked her indoors. I then went back with a spade to despatch the snake; it had gone. Fortunately, as it happens. Further online investigation revealed it was a non-venomous grass snake, Natrix natrix and not a puff-adder as I had first thought. Of course you don’t get puff-adders in France! Anyway, there was no trace of either duck nor ducklings, so we can only assume that Mr. Fox returned last night and jumped over the fence for a snack.