Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Patter of Little Feet

In this case, the patter of little feet is actually hooves and paws. To be precise--1508. That's 2 dogs among the 375 sheep that came trotting up the farm road from the outlying field into the fanks--a series of corrals with a foot bath to disinfect their feet, which to my non-farm mind is reminiscent of the foot bath in swimming pools, but I usually keep the analogy of Athlete's foot and locker rooms to myself.

When cattle move up the road, you not only hear them but also feel them. The ground echoes their massive footsteps. In contrast, the sheep slipped in unheard. I had seen the dogs in the morning--working dogs-- and chatted with the shepherd, so I knew after lunch the sheep would be coming but they came quietly enough to go unnoticed as I pottered in the house.

When I looked out the kitchen window late in the afternoon, the sheep were clustered inside the gate enjoying each other's company. When we came back from a ride into town just before sunset, the sheep were gone. I thought nothing more of it until my husband said from the tennis lawn, "Look over the garden wall." The field had sprouted sheep. The sheep had spread out and were knee high in rich green grass--thanks to a recent bout of good weather. The field had previuolsy been occupied by one lone bull. "Now the bull won't be lonely," I say out loud, though I am not sure whether the bull considers 375 sheep good company or not.

The cats joined me in the garden and each, in turn, did the feline equivalent of a double take as they jumped to the top of the wall and saw the newly sprouted sheep in the field. I think I detected a vague disgruntlement at the intrusion on their field. I often see them going over the wall and through that field to avoid the heavily trafficked farm road on their way to some favorite mousing territory.


At 4:40 PM, Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

"Now the bull won't be lonely," I say out loud, though I am not sure whether the bull considers 375 sheep good company or not.

That depends. Does he like lamb chops?

At 7:56 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Oh, Cur, what a thing to say about a decent, self respecting herbivore! Actually it is interestign to see cattle and sheep in the same field they so completely ignore each other.

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

My significant other will be glad to know there are sheep dogs at your farm. I am too! Baa and ewe and lea are frequent words in crossword puzzles.

At 8:01 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

oh ampiggy there are cool words for sheep in Scots--like hogg and tup and gimmer. I have not learned enuf yet to do crossword puzzles here, but I am doing the nonagram--one of those see how many words of 4 or more letters you can get from the nine provided. Some scots words make it into the Oxford dictionary so I am learning some doozy new words.


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