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I am not a particularly competent scientist. I am not even a fairly good amateur. But like, I suspect, many of you out there, I have been particularly taken by the search for the Higgs Boson, and have, in my own undistinguished way, joined in. And today I read with rejoicing that the Cern Large Hadron Collider (I have always assumed that the small one didn’t work so well), succeeded in ramming together some very small stuff at very high speeds. But unfortunately, there was no sign of the elusive Higgs Boson.

They are, of course, looking in the wrong place. It is left to us plodding rural types with our outdated interest in things like hedges and ponds, to unearth the impossible, and two days ago, I saw – yes, I am certain – a tiny Higgs Boson shifting uncomfortably in the leaf litter at the base of an old alder tree in the dank, mossy, boggy shaw at the bottom of the hill here at Swallowtail Hill.

It can’t have been more than two days old. I worry for its survival because of course it has no parents. Higgs Bosons are, so far as we know, appalling in the care of their infants. Almost as bad as rabbits. This little creature was left to its own devices, barely weaned, still blind and coughing for breath. No wonder they’re so rare.

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