Monday, 26 March 2012

Spring Flowers & Birdsong,, Replacement Lambs

Glorious weather & the spring flowers are in abundance. Primroses in the hedgebanks, polyanthus & narcissus in the garden along the drive & I have just found the first bluebells in flower in a sheltered corner of the yard. The birds are singing joyfully from the crack of dawn and walking the dogs first thing in the mornings I hear  blackbirds, thrushes & wood pigeons, with woodpeckers hammering away up the wooded valley & canada geese coming in with their refrain of the wilderness.

This morning the Farmer & I had to go to Lampeter and on our way back went through the very entertaining excercise of trying to find a molly lamb to adopt onto one of our ewes who had lost her own lamb. Our good shepherd efforts meant driving along and me saying at intervals ' Look, there's a farm with lots of sheep & little lambs. Where's the farm entrance?' The Farmer then swinging the car down the next farm track and we arrive in an deserted yard with a farmhouse that delightfully, has not been renovated to a standard pattern of modernity, to be greeted by a welcoming committee of rangy sheepdogs & snapping terriers. A shadowy face peers out of a kitchen window and then disappears. The Farmer goes to the kitchen door and calls in, 'Bore da! Anyone home?'.  After a while a very little old Welsh lady in a proper old-fashioned floral pinny appears & the Farmer in his best Welsh explains what we looking for. She smiles and becomes very chatty, wanting to know where we lived and who we were. Once her natural curiosity is satisfied she returns to the request for a lamb. 'Nah, sori. We have rented out the farm now and they are not our sheep. Sori. Bore da.' And so we leave the yard escorted by the snapping terriers. We drive on for a few more miles until I spot another field of lambs jumping about in the sunshine and we wend our way up another twisting lane to a modern bungalow with lots of sheds where once again the Farmer approaches the back door. This time we are in luck and the owner of the dancing lambs just happens to have a couple of orphans and is more than happy to sell us one for a very modest sum. So we leave with a beautiful strong ram lamb in the foot-well of the passenger seat where I earnestly hope it won't relieve itself before we get home. (It doesn't!).
The reason for this somewhat random way of finding a replacement lamb is that our neighbours had none for us. Years ago there used to be what was called the Lamb Bank & one could call a certain phone number (possibly it was the NFU that organised it) and be told where lambs were available or log that you had some to spare. Somehow this arrangement has unfortunately ceased, more's the pity. It was very effective & useful.

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