Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Baaa Humbug

It’s tippy toes all round here on Hallett’s Mountain.
Anything else and the chain reaction starts.
I should have know better, I should by now recognise the sign. An old welsh sheep farmer with a glint in his eye is bringing mischief. And the less he says, the more there is to say, indeed the more should have been said.
Tom kindly grazes the field in front of the house you see. This in exchange for a lamb or two for the freezer. It also stops the pasture from returning to a clag of last years decaying stems. Quite a convenient arrangement and though She Of The Townhouse sometimes wavers towards a sounder financial proposition, one where someone pays a bit of rent up front for use of the acres, she usually wavers off again, or forgets the matter when she has one of her enthusiasms.
So that is the scene.
A few weeks ago Tom wondered if we would be good enough to spare him the trouble and if he were to leave a bag of sheep nuts in the barn would we distribute the odd bucket now and then.
Seemed reasonable. After all it was saving him a journey of a couple of miles there and back. I usually wander round the field and have a quick headcount anyway.

Now despite their ineffably stupid front, sheep are really quite canny. By the second day they knew that the large bloke with the bucket was bringing the good stuff. Being quite an organised bunch they began to call out to all their mates who might not have heard the dinner gong.
After a while they began to spot that while there isn’t much point doing this when I am not around, it was a reasonable enough to tip off the rest of the field if I was at the door or in the garden….or if I stuck my head out of the window…or turned a light on.
In fact they are now so conditioned to my presence that I really only have to turn over in my sleep or cough in an unguarded way for the bleating to start, and then I get a full half hour of sheep calling for food at the tops of their lungs.

It’s enough to drive a saint mad!

I had intended to wave the picture of mid summer sunrise from my front garden at you yesterday but I am afraid the interwebby thing was being arsey with me.


sablonneuse said...

So I suupose you're not too popular with the wife then.
Actually I'd love to borrow a few sheep to keep the back of our garden from being taken over by tall grass yet again.
Only I have this thing about sheep and ticks. Do they really carry the little blighters? Would the cats 'catch' them - or the chickens?

meredic said...

wife....wife.... dear me no madam! No wife around here.
Ticks drop from bracken or other suitable foliage on to passing mammals ( I think). Avoiding sheep would not avoid ticks. They do appear on the cats occasionally. Easily dealt with though.

Leah said...

Sheep are rather canny creatures....
We once used a discarded sack to sled down a hillside, only to discover ourselves rampaged by sheep - turns out, the sack had at some point contained their dinner!