No stick insects were at the pet service at our local church this year and, unusually we were informed, humans outnumbered animals. Three ponies waiting to be blessed chewed the odd blade of grass, heads being yanked forward whenever a graveside rose caught their attention. Numerous labradors eyed each other gleefully, each willing the other to cause a rumpus. None succeeded. They missed the hilarity of 2011 when one of their companions, since departed, bit the vicar to avoid his blessing.