Monday, May 24, 2010
So it was with a complete lack of bouyancy that we set about our pre-dawn routine for taking sheep to our local abbatoir, although blessedly only 4 minutes drive away. The sheep trotted meekly into the temporary yards we had set up for the purpose, then quietly stood watching whilst the usual numerous attempts were made to back the trailer into the right place. Their conduct was a bit unnerving in itself, as if they knew what was happening. We also wondered why they were being so well behaved. The natural state of things made a resurgence when Diana tried to jump out of the trailer, Esmerelda kicked SO and Florence flatly refused to move, lying down in the middle of the tiny drafting gate, but these minor protestations dealt with, they were at last on their way.
The little abbatoir was busy with autumn small farmers' stock and it's always interesting to see how everyone marks their sheep. Some had ice-cream container lids hung round their necks with baling twine, and the instructions marked on these. Some had the usual ear-tags, a few quite decorated with several in different colours. Some had giant ribbons or scraps of coloured cloth tied round them and some, like ours, were simply marked with stock paint.
There were two yards full ahead of ours - which constitutes the whole holding capacity of this tiny enterprise, so they were put in the loading yard. Then another chap rocked up with his woolly load. At this point karma for our kindness actually presented itself for once, and the nice man orchestrating the show let our old ewes go in ahead of everyone elses to clear the loading yard.
So our dear old ewes did not have to wait at all, and it was all over before breakfast. Vale Esmerelda, Diana and Florence.