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Thursday, June 28, 2012

A bull-shaped hole in the barn wall.

Well the animals managed to stay out of trouble the week the Farmer was away, but they made up for it this week.

Dennis the drover found a new home for Young Angus, our bull, on a farm in Quebec. We made a date for the delivery, and the night before Dennis was due to pick him up, we locked Angus in the barn. Angus still doesn’t like to be alone, so the Farmer left a calf in there with him. I guess the presence of the calf wasn’t enough to make Angus feel secure. When the Farmer went out to check on Angus in the morning the bull was gone and there was a bull-shaped hole in the back wall of the barn.

Dennis arrived and the Farmer had to tell him that the bull was gone. “Well I have the guy waiting for him so let’s try to find him,” Dennis said. First they decided to set up some gates so they could corral the bull when and if they managed to get him back up to the barn. All of the movement and noise caught the curiosity of the cows, who came back up the pasture to see what was going on in the barn. The Farmer threw some grain in and they all followed, Young Angus among them. It’s a good thing he is a gentle bull. He wasn’t very difficult to get into the truck. Now he is on to his next big adventure. And now the Farmer knows what he will be doing on his summer holidays: fixing the bull-shaped hole in the barn.

Sunday I was setting up for my daughter’s bridal shower when we got a call from the neighbours. Our sheep were on their front lawn. All of them. Normally when you confront the sheep they turn around and go right back through the fence the way they came in, so you know what hole to repair. This time they just took off down the road and headed right into our front yard. They weren’t giving up any secrets. My husband had to hop on his ATV and follow the fence all the way to the back of the property until he finally found the spot where the brush had been trampled and straight through to the other side. With corn growing all around us now, we have to make sure our fences are secure or we will lose our sheep—and someone might lose their crop.

The horse has also been a bit of a problem lately; she stepped on one of our lambs and broke its leg. We waited until all the sheep went into the barn at high noon, to escape the sun. The lame one lay in a corner, where he was easy to catch. The Farmer gave me a blanket to line a feeder with, for an operating table. “If you cover his eyes he will lie still,” the Farmer told me. Sure enough, the lamb let out a sigh and stopped struggling. We took a paint roller, sliced it down the middle and fit it over the broken leg. Next we used plastic ties to secure the roller splint, and electric tape to hold it in place. A few hours later when the sun cooled down we could see the lamb following the rest of the herd down to pasture. With the new splint his broken bones will get the chance to fuse.

I know I’m not supposed to name them but for reference purposes I will call him Sandy, due to his caramel colouring. He isn’t pure white and he isn’t marked with black. He’s just Sandy.

Misty has been doing a lot of whinnying lately. She stands in the middle of the field, looking out to pasture and crying. Then she turns around, faces the barn and repeats her actions. I think she is in heat. After a few sessions of this she turns back to Donkey, who seems to be looking at her saying, “are you quite finished?” and then they head down to pasture. Poor Misty. She has to settle for Donkey. He’s as close as she is going to get to a boyfriend. But he is the loyal type. And he doesn’t seem to be at all insulted by the fact that she wants to meet someone else.

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