Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The happy farmer's away....so the animals come out to play....

It’s a sure sign the happy farmer is away on the mainland, word must have got out, and so those cheeky animals have all taken it upon themselves to play up, again!
It started with a phone call in the ‘wee small’ hours, a message to inform me that Muffin, the cheeky pony, was out of ‘barracks’, and patrolling the farm, munching away on the grass beside the single track road. The thought of going our into the very wet, pitch dark night armed with a torch for a search light and a bucket as incentive, did not appeal, that coupled with the fact that I am scared of horses, and Muffin, who refuses to abide by the pony club manual, would almost certainly refuse to play ball and be caught by me, so I opted for the easier option of ‘phone a friend. The sleepy happy farmer’s reassurance put my mind at rest, he reminded me that there would be no traffic on the little single track road at that time of night, that Muffin would not stray too far, and that most importantly I hadn’t a hell’s chance of catching the little ‘B’, coupled with the fact that if I did, he was sure to stray once more. So a fitful night of half sleep and pony nightmares ensued, as I was woken by every tiny sound that echoed round the farmhouse.
This morning Muffin was highly visible. He was stood at the shed doors, chomping his way through the soaking sugar beet, looking as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. He will stay around there until teenage daughter arrives home off the afternoon ferry. He will happily do anything for her, and will immediately go home to barracks ‘without passing go’ once she gets hold of him.
Poor Muffin, his troubles started yesterday, I could hear him frantically neighing and galloping around the fields, all alone, and quite bothered. Initially I worried something must be up with Hansel, his companion, as the two are inseparable usually. Kitted out in ‘all weather gear’, I braved the lashing wind and rain, and made my way out the hill to check on the other horse. With the Happy farmer away on the mainland, somewhat unwillingly, my ‘farming duties’ had commenced. I was very relieved then to see Hansel in the far corner, by the burn, happily grazing away at the grass, and could see why Muffin was also making such a scene. It was pure, ‘unbridled’ jealousy. In the neighbouring field was another pony, stood next to Hansel, with only a fence between them. Muffin was galloping and neighing at the other end of the field, trying desperately to catch Hansel’s attention and coax him away from his new playmate, but to no avail. Today, Muffin was teaching Hansel a lesson, Hansel stood by the gate watching longingly as his ‘pal’ Muffin filled his belly full of hay and sugar beet.
Later on as I drove son to the bus stop, we saw one lone, ‘protesting’ sheep. Well, at least we decided she must be on a protest of sorts; probably about the speed the traffic races at  along the main road. That feisty old girl was insistent on toddling along the white lines up the middle of the road, stopping every now and again, and flatly refusing to budge for any passing traffic. I couldn’t see her markings at such a distance, so am unsure if she was one of our clan. Luckily the drivers here are very used to meandering livestock on the roads; it is part of island life.
Until next time…..


mrsnesbitt said...

Wow! Are motorbikes allowed on the ferry? We are planning to circumnavigate Scotland in a couple of months.


bayou said...

How absolutely fantastic to see you back blogging. I have so much missed to read your adventures and am really happy to be able to know about your island life again. Is Hansel then the companion of Gretel? Great story as always but I hope this will never happen to me to have the horses beyond their fences. Always a good idea to try to catch them with incentives - lol, reminds me of my working life but then it would not have been presented in buckets ;-).

jane said...

Posie - welcome back we have missed you - hope all the other animals are ok and Charlie the chicken - take care Jane x

Rob-bear said...

Oh, dear. Horses are fairly large critters to try to move about. And you all by yourself. And one of your sheep doing traffic duty.

Life is very "interesting" for you. Well, that's one word to describe the situation. I'm sure there are others.

Blessings and Bear hugs.

Mummy Boo Bear said...

Welcome back to the land of blog!

Sounds like fun and games have ensued! You poor thing dealing with that naughty Muffin when the Happy Farmer's away. Hope your daughter manages to catch him and put him back where he is safe!

I have really missed your adventures.


Molly said...

These animals certainly know when to push the boat out. 'Phone a friend' is a very sensible option, I think!
Posie, like Jane says - lovely to have you back

Pondside said...

Ah, but I've missed your posts!
When your Farmer is away interesting things are sure to happen at your place. I loved the thought of your jealous horse - thanks for the laugh!

Posie said...

...And it is very lovely to be back, especially with such a lovely warm welcome :-))) thank you all soooo much for your lovely comments and for taking the time to visit. Mrs Nesbitt....motorbikes are definitely allowed on the ferry boat, so you absolutely should hop over...although keep it quiet or you may find all of the farm animals trot down to the ferry port to welcome you...now that would be chaotic ;-)

Fennie said...

Ah, Posie, we missed you. Like a horse wandering away from us in the night we were sitting by our blogs watching for any flicker that might mean Posie's tag had come up (OK sorry I haven't been paying much attention in the last couple of days). But oh dear this takes me back to when the problem of meandering horses (we never kept sheep) was only too real. It is a heart-breaking enterprise trying to catch an animal that has caught the elixir of revolution and thrown off its shackles. I always wanted to experiment with hobbling but never quite got round to it. Maybe Muffin wouldn't go far with her front legs in handcuffs. Nice ropey sort of handcuffs - or rather leg cuffs - but cuffs all the same.

Bluestocking Mum said...

Hello Posie.

Just getting chance to catch up on blogs. Good to see you've had a break too so I don't feel too bad ;)

And I would LOVE to come across to your island one of these days. I don't know I'd have been the best company in January - I went to Loch Lomond to throw my wedding ring in the Loch - a bit of an ending ceremony to myself :(

Anyway, lovely to see your lovely blog and wonderful pictures. Muffin sounds quite a character

Take care my friend

Annie said...

You live in one of my favourite parts of the world. So happy to have just found your blog :D

Lottie said...

Which is exactly why I don't own a horse....blimey o'riley....and I thought owning guinea pigs was stressy....