Thanks. Clive, keep in mind our former neighbor made stuff up at random, so that may or may not have been true. (For example, she told us an old, falling-down shack in the woods belonged to a hobo. Two decades later I met a guy who spent summers up here in the 50s, and who led me to the spot where that shack had stood — a children’s clubhouse.) I always assumed they took it out and shot it, but the odd thing was that it was so close to the tenant house. You’d think they would’ve wanted to get farther away from the smell.
“A scattering of tiny polished ninepins” is indeed, as Luisa suggest, a very poetic image!