Animals on the farm

I’ve decided that I hate lambing season. While ewe Myrtle has delivered twins that are now thriving, the hapless Tessa has once again given birth to twins that it seems she cannot feed, as indeed happened last year with her lamb Benji. One of her recently born twins soon died and, despite our best efforts at feeding the other, he has no idea at all how to suckle and it takes a mammoth effort to get even a tiny bit of milk into him.

After the close to fruitless attempt to feed him this afternoon, and for that matter loath to waste the milk, I offered it to Doris the sheep. She has become my self appointed pet amongst the sheep it seems, which I realise is cupboard love at best. After almost bowling me over in the paddock in an attempt to find food on my person, she was delighted to suckle the milk from the bottle. Not only that however, she ripped the teat off it once the milk ran out, chomped it up and ate it.

Will there be any dire consequences for her? I really don’t know. I hope not as she is due to deliver twins also within the next few days.

Dilemma upon dilemma in this farming world.

The cats are much simpler – Rosie the kitten has worked out old Tom Cat’s routine. When he is out of the house or enjoying his daily siesta in the top of the cupboard, she sneaks into the much-coveted beanbag. As soon as she hears his footfall on the floor however, she is out in a flash and sits next to it with a look of complete innocence on her face.

The possums, not content with eating the lemons and now the lemon tree itself, have denuded the cumquat bush and half the lime tree. This possum is really smart – no apple in the cage will tempt him in. He must know that we plan to remove him to a different geographical location if he goes in there. He finds his way in and around and under netting and fences, and is well and truly gone again by morning, leaving leafless branches and skinless citrus fruit in his wake. No Vicks Vaporub, no blood and bone or other deterrent works.

We have other visitors too, though they are no trouble. A neighbour’s pet rabbit has come to call. His name is Billy apparently and he is very fond of his tucker. Maybe he heard me calling our Billy the Duck this afternoon at seed time. Whichever way, Billy the rabbit has taken up residence with the sheep until he decides to wander home again.

A little pet ferret came to visit too a while ago. He is beautiful, Fluffy is his name, a cute, affectionate little bundle that belongs to a friend that lives nearby. However, Robert didn’t know about this ferret on the evening he found him in the chook yard. When he brought him into the house to show me, and I said “Oh, that’s Fluffy”, he looked at me as if I were daft. “Of course it’s fluffy” his bewildered look said “It’s a ferret.” Fluffy was delivered home safely, much to the delight of his owners.

Della the dog has lost a lot of weight at last, now that she can’t get into the chook yard to eat their daily cook-up of scraps. It was quite comical until that time to watch one very obese beagle squash herself as flat as a pancake to get under a fence to vacuum up any morsel of chook food she could find. I think part of her weight loss is also due to her continual pacing up and down the fence line trying to find a way in again, all to no avail. I would prefer she chased out marauding wildlife for exercise, but she sits complacently while they eat what they choose without so much as raising a bark.

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