its all in the wrist

the neighbour who now helps on the farm isnt small, turning out most weeks at prop for the local homoerotic mud wrestling team (i believe they call it 'rugby' locally), and while i might not be in the first flush of youth, i like to think i can handle myself when faced with a small ewe, a sleepy piglet or a reasonably placcid hen



still, it took us forty five minutes of scrabbling around in the dirt to finally concede that, like most things, it was all about technique....three quarters of an hour being slowly stripped of every trace of dignity as we tried to flip one of the dorset ewes over for a foot trim

forty five minutes during which most of the neighbours, their children and assembled pets seemed to finally find the spare afternoon to take on that one last nagging winter garden chore, that, as luck would have it, afforded an inspiring view out into the field

and why this winter once-over? the ram was coming, and we presumed the girls wanted to look their best....oh well, she'd have to sit at the side of the field and be the one that he didnt ask to dance

next day, picking up the ram, the owner, obviously not adverse to a rather generous serving of dessert nor far shy of the national average life expectancy, whistled his prize male to his side....i offered the expected approval in as enthusuiastic and vague a way as befits someone with such a profound lack of knowledge as to the beneficial traits one might expect to find in a prize ewe-squiring machine....had i been pushed i might have been able to enquire as to where he had two of those and one of the other, but that was about the extent of it

id had an extra sandwich at lunch (i confess to being similarly partial to an extra portion when offered) in preparation for the tug of war i was sure was waiting for me in trying to coax the enormous lump of wool into the trailer....i asked how we might go about the task, given my lack of experience in such matters as ram wrestling

not answering, he nudging his left knee into the rams side, twisting an arm around somewhere and out the other side, hey presto - a ram leant back, feet off the floor, parked on its butt....all while drawing his foot trimmers out of their holster and the foot spray from the other pocket...'well i spose i oort to doo eees feet furst'...i suppose you'd better had i said, flushed with shame and annoyance

two minutes later, feet trimmed, back on all fours, he led him without fuss to the trailer

its changed, and its going to keep changing

if rising sea levels, the prospect of more unpredictable weather events, warmer summers and wetter winters dont quite conjure up a climate change reality, or perhaps the melting ice caps and changing gulf stream are a little to remote to comprehend, maybe this will



almond trees, in england, in december, still throwing out new leaves, in front of a flooded river otter

Go to Otter Farm | by Mark D