Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lady in red

Imagine you slog through the mud pushing (and sometimes, in this slush, pulling) a wheelbarrow with a bale of hay for your sheep to where they are typically waiting on a winter's morning for such a breakfast to find, not your flock, but this large, red lady instead:

It's hard enough to feed everyone at Celestequest without the neighbour's cows joining in. Placid as they can be, they eat an awful lot. Including our precious pasture. We're trying to make it last all spring so this lady had to go home. Fortunately this wasn't far. Unfortunately there was only Snowy the unruly beagle and myself to drive her. Fortunately there is a connecting gate to the neighbour's place. Unfortunately the cow turned uphill instead.

That's the open gate behind her, all she needs to do is go down the track and through it. Yes, it appears simple. A lot of scrambling and yelling later, sometimes even with waving hands when they were free of keeping balance on the muddy hill, and she was home.

Snowy enthusiastically made sure she was well through the gate and then, finding herself in a new world to explore, kept going. Beagles do that. At an excited, cracking pace. The neighbour's property is all one big paddock, but fortunately it's only about 40 acres of gullies, steep slopes and scrub. A short extraction mission later and Snowy was out of the restricted zone and back on home turf. The next job was to find where the sheep had got to.