Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Peace and quiet and a happy buck

A nervous herd wondered how they had yet again been
fooled into being penned...
Move over Will and Kate, Albie and Helen have been
spotted together in the same paddock...
Two days ago it was Sheep-drench Sunday. We moved the sheep into the upper paddock, to herd them into the pen. Albie came too, of course, and when Helen heard him (you can't help but hear Albie - for a miniature goat, he has maximum volume) she changed her mind about helping with the herding process. Mr Farmer and Trusty Sidekick helped instead (well, Mr Farmer helped, and Trusty Sidekick lost her composure right at the end and chased the sheep back out of the pen, and was excluded from herding thereafter). The Ride-on Mower looked on from the front lawn, vaguely amused (she has been involved in the herding process before, but Helen got jealous and butted her, so now she just sticks to her main job, which she does with exceptional skill). The sheep finally ran into the pen thanks to some brilliant herding on Mr Farmer's part, and some remarkable restraint on Trusty Sidekick's part. Poor Albie, not being familiar with the sheep mentality of "everybody run in the same direction if someone is chasing you", got stuck in the top-most paddock. He cried. The sheep ignored him - they were too busy worrying, because last time they were in the pen, someone gave them bad haircuts (I disagree with this - the mohawk was so hot last summer). Happily, this trip to the pen only involved a squirt of slightly bitter drench, although the sheep are now upset because the Ride-on Mower popped her head through the fence and told them (with a certain smugness) that her drench tasted like apples.
Clearly, it was only a matter of time before Helen fell prey
to Albie's irresistible charm...
By the time I had let the sheep out into the upper paddock, Albie had worked out how to get back through the fence. He was excited, because he had just remembered that this was where he had last seen Helen. In fact, Helen had spent most of the previous week in the upper paddock - she claims this was because it has better access to the neighbour's paddock (less staples in the boundary fence), but I suspect it was because Albie was with the sheep in the lower paddock. Whilst I admired Albie's optimism, I suspected that Helen would now start using the lower paddock, or just not bother coming back at all.
Albie was right. Helen was waiting impatiently at the gate in the upper paddock on Monday morning. Even so, I suspected she would pop straight back through the fence after milking, but judging by the eery quiet that has descended over the farm, it would appear that she hasn't left the upper paddock since. There is some debate as to the status of their relationship, but sources (the sheep) say that the pair have decided to go their separate ways, but remain "good friends" for the sake of their unborn kid (again, this is only rumour, but judging by the lack of amorous behavior and Helen's subtle but sudden mood swings, there may be some substance to it).


  1. It is a good thing for Helen that you are so far away. That Albie is quite a hunk, if you ask me. I particularly like that white spot on his head, which, in fact, is reminiscent of the white spot on my head.

  2. Helen says that it is also a good thing that you are so far away because you don't have to listen to Albie crying when you want some time to yourself - although she does agree that (despite being a little needy) Albie really is a bit of a hunk. Albie is now strutting around the paddock looking very pleased with himself, and asking everyone he meets if they can tell him how to get to Washington...