Saturday, 23 June 2007

Now where was I ? Oh yes, the CUNNING PLAN!!!!! BUT DON'T MESS WITH DAISY!!!

We had to find a way to get Daisy's piglets out of her sight and earshot without being mortally injured by a very large very angry mummy pig.

The CUNNING PLAN included the following elements [in no particular order] : a large HORSEBOX, four enthusiastic friends [2 farmers and 2 townies], 2 pairs of HUGE PADDED GLOVES [used for handling liquid nitrogen], a NIMBLE OH [hummmmm], a large heavy OAK DOOR ,copious amounts of APPLES, 4 cooperative PIGLETS [aaarh!] oh and ME!!!! Plus a building through which we intended to move the piglets[ from their playground].

The CUNNING PLAN went something like this, in principal anyway: four friends arrive with their horsebox and park it in our back drive by the door to the building [which by the way had no doors!!!!] but leads past the pigsty to Daisy's outside run. I use the bucket of apples to lure the piglets through the doorway[no door] past the pigsty and out towards the horsebox. The OH hauls the very large and very heavy oak door across the doorway and uses his considerable strength to stop Daisy barging through the said doorway after her little ones. He weighs about 170 lbs she weighed about 350lbs. Meanwhile the four friends are there to ensure that the piglets calmly follow me up the ramp into the horsebox.

With me so far, now do pay attention, as I shall be asking questions!!!!!!!

The friends then drive away with all the piglets to their farm. I take the bucket of apples round to Daisy as a treat, she has barely noticed that her precious darlings are missing. The following day we drive over to our friends farm to fetch back our two piglets and put them in the wood out of Daisy's sight and hearing.

SIMPLE I HEAR YOU SAY! What could possibly go wrong?

Answers on a postcard to a very sheepish via the comments please.

If you can see any possible FLAWS then you can advise on future CUNNING PLANS.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Little Bo Peep lost her sheep!!!!

Last Thursday we went off for a cycle ride in the morning, we usually drive somewhere with the bikes on the back of the car. This is because its very hilly where we live and we are not sadists!!! We did a 2 hour cycle route around part of the Marais Poitevin also known as the Venise Verte, its very beautiful, tranquil and more importantly flat. The weather was changeable and we only just avoided being drenched by sheltering under some very convenient trees. After the ride we always stop for lunch, there has to be some recompense for all that exercise. There are lots of very pretty villages dotted along the rivers and canals that make up the Marais, and plenty of restaurants and bars as it is a popular tourist area. At this time of year it is fairly quiet and more enjoyable than in July or August. We arrived home about 4pm with weary legs but it had been very pleasant. If you want to know more about this lovely region then go to this site, its in French but there are lots of photos.

I spent the rest of the afternoon making a large raised Veal and Ham pie for a friends picnic that we were going to on Saturday. At about 6pm I went to check on the ewes. They were nowhere to be seen. Now this happens from time to time, one of the ewes gets wanderlust and the rest [being sheep] have to follow!!!!!!!!

Over the years we have got used to the various ways they go and we had a good idea where they would be. I had by this time collected reinforcements i.e. the OH. We set off round the field they had disappeared from to find the tell-tale gap in the hedge. NO GAP!!! I would just add that its a 3 HECTARE FIELD[about 7.5 acres]. There was no sign of them. We had to go on instinct alone. We went back to the house and got in the car to check the neighbouring farmers land. Still no sign. The OH took the car back and I walked back through the woods to check for woollies there. NOTHING not a baaa anywhere. I trudged wearily back towards the house wondering where we could look next. It was already 7.30 pm and my legs were protesting. As I walked past the field which is directly behind the house and next to the field the sheep had been in I caught a glimpse of something WHITE AND WOOLLY!!!!!! At that moment I heard the OH calling that he had found them. They had been in Home field all along. No we are not blind but the grass in that field is very long and they had been lying down and completely invisible.

We had spent nearly 2 hours looking for sheep that were in the adjoining field. I then had to count them to make sure they were all there. That wasn't easy either.

Oh the joy of being a Sheep farmer.