Tin Man

Wasn’t it in the ‘Wizard of Oz’,

that the Tin Man was looking for a heart….?  Well; I wish to goodness that Tony would have a heart & stop continually raiding the biscuit tin in the kitchen, leaving me repeatedly in the embarrassing predicament of discovering the cupboard is bare & I’ve nothing to offer visitors.  This has happened with John-the-Farrier; Idris-the-Sweep; handyman neighbour, Kev; the workmen from ‘Farmplus’ construction; various friends & neighbours; & now again today, with Peter, who’d come to finish off levelling the site groundworks. 

Having made the hardworking man a large mug of coffee I opened the tin, which I’d tucked away in the bottom of a drawer heaped with linen & homebrewing detritus, only to find a few pathetic crumbs lurking apologetically where just a couple of days before the roomy tin had been bulging with the biscuity promise of unopened packets. 

I was frankly furious; especially as Tony’s supposed to be on a diet anyway.  I’m totally fed up of having to continually think up new places to hide the tin, only to discover he’s turned the kitchen upside down again & wolfed everything (it wouldn’t be so bad if he tidied & washed the dishes as he went along; but nooooo…..ofcoursenot).  In fact I have to hide anything sweet or toothsome from Tony – who like the Tin Man, must have hollow legs judging by the amount he can put away in a single sitting. 

But regardless of warning him that something has been made or purchased either for Visitors Only or for a specific or special occasion, it inevitably disappears into the bottomless pit of his paunch before it gets to be used for the reason it was made/purchased.  It’s infuriating; & all-too-frequently, humiliating & embarrassing (like today).  So if anyone can think of an effective deterrent…..

My dear-departed sister even bought him a cake of soap, once upon a time; literally, it looked just like a slice of cake – so I put it on a plate in the fridge but unfortunately he wasn’t fooled (as we’d hoped) into taking a bite.  And why not….?  Because I hadn’t hidden it, which made him suspicious – otherwise he would’ve been tempted.  Bah, foiled again.

Fortunately – like Pandora & her box – I hadn’t lifted the fateful lid of said tin when the time came to dock Artemisia & Allia’s lambs’ tails, & castrate the little ram; so hadn’t started my explosive fury to 50,000 feet as yet. Campion (the ram lamb) made an extraordinary song-&-dance over his castration, throwing himself around in such ‘drama queen’ style & so unlike any of the many lambs we’ve done countless times before, that we actually removed the little rubber ring which fits around the scrotum, cutting off the blood supply until the sac simply drops off; there’s a couple of seconds of inital discomfort after which the lamb knows nothing about it, with the same technique used for docking tails.  So in case we’d inadvertently got the procedure wrong we quickly reapplied a fresh one; not that it made any difference, as he immediately resumed his fuss; but then soon settled back to his playing anyway. 

Meanwhile the ‘Phase Two’ in-kid goats are due to give birth any day now (literally – tomorrow is Wolfie’s official due date, although she’s not showing any signs of pushing anything out just yet, with her ample udders not ‘bagging up’ at all although she does do a very passable impression of a beached whale every time she settles down to chew the cud). 

Vine – our she-goat of the luxurious, long beard & alarming habit of attempting to ‘french kiss’ anyone who gets too close –  has started her ‘popping prolapse’ again, as well. Last year we had an anxious time observing her prior to kidding; as each time she stood on her hind legs – whether to reach some tasty tidbit in the uppermost reaches of the hayrack (looking for the biscuit tin no doubt!), or just standing on the gate for a cuddle, which she insists upon at least five times a day – out would pop the prolapse, only to squeeze back in several agonizing moments after she’d returned all four feet to the floor. 

And there it was again, today; livid pink & inevitably worrying in all its’ lurid glory.  Apparently this is quite common in goats; however unlike sheep, it thankfully rarely degenerates into a full-blown prolapse.  So she’s obviously got some big kids in there….fingers crossed they come out soon – & the prolapse doesn’t.

Meanwhile I’m not convinced Woodie is in kid, at all.  Last year, tragically she aborted a grotesquely mummified kid about a fortnight before coming to full term; & since then we’ve been struggling to control an apparent uterine infection, which despite the best efforts of our vet never seems to have fully cleared up.  Well; perhaps she’ll surprise us as she was only carrying a single kid, last year; but I don’t hold out much hope unfortunately. 

However any minute now there’s sure to be the patter of yet more tiny feet at Ffarm Fach – although of course, Allspice STILL hasn’t lambed yet….no surprises there.

What would be nice, though, would be the patter of a pair of size eight wellies hurrying to the shops to at least replace all those snaffled biscuits – then perhaps we’d be back on speaking terms, again – & Tony wouldn’t have to share Nanuk’s kennel after all!



About LittleFfarm Dairy

The LittleFfarm Dairy Team: Jo - Goat farmer & Gelatiere Artigianale, plus General Dogsbody; Tony - Airline Pilot & part-time Herd Manager, Product Taster, Accounts Secretary, Handyman etc!
This entry was posted in Animals, Anything Goes, April 2008, Diary, Goats, Life, Livestock, Sheep, Smallholding. Bookmark the permalink.

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