Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mission Accomplished!

After several days of phone calls to some reticent guy called Richard in Waikanae, the deal was struck. 2 ewes & two ewe lambs (it's important they are ewe lambs, as rams are bigger & harder to handle, and need "things" done to them so that I don't have even more lambs next year & end up REALLY overstocked). All I needed to do was hoof it up the coast, give him a call when I was 30 minutes away, hire a trailer & meet him at the farm.

So I did. I'd spent the evening before loading up the car with stuff to take up to SunnyO for Christmas, then I unloaded it again because I'd forgotten to put our removeable towbar on & it's in a cunning hidey-hole underneath the baggage area, put the towbar on, locked it in place & loaded up the car with: a punga fern that was cut down & has recovered enough that we will replant it, a big wicker basket, a segment of telephone pole (long story, it will be useful for something), a few odds & ends from the basement that are no use in kelburn, but will be in more rural climes, and a truckload of new bedding.

The next day I left work at 12.30pm, ran a few errands, whizzed back home to change into farming gear (so as to not look like some city wuss when I met Richard), picked up the dog (more rural cred), and sped North.

At Paraparumu I spied the perfect trailer. I hired it. Then I discovered that it wouldn't fit on the towbar the dealer assured me was standard when we bought the car - hey, the bike rack fits OK what gives?. I got a refund & shot round to the hire centre the garage recommended to discover they didn't have any trailers that fit a 2 inch (as opposed to 1.7/8 inch standard) either.

Then I decided, "Bugger it" if necessary I'd load them in the back of the car & stuff all the baggage, & dog in the front seat with me & hope that either they could all hold their bladders & bowels for the short trip, or that the tarpaulin I laid down would save the interior.

Just in case I stopped at every garage between there & Waikanae & asked if they had a trailer that would fit.

And LO! The Waikanae BP did. SO I was saved.

When I met Richard, after passing the farm & doing a very impressive 3 point turn with a trailer on a rural road... he said that I had a choice - 2 ewes & two lambs, or 2 ewes, and 3 lambs... he had one with twins.

I hummed & hahhed - I don't want to overstock the place as I mentioned, but Mrs Llew had offered that in case the two wethers die of old age soon, I should consider getting 5 new sheep, so I said "OK". After all he was offering them for the same price as 4.

The new sheep!

The new sheep!-1

The new sheep!-2

The new sheep!-3

The new sheep!-4

The new sheep!-5

I had to grab the first ewe & heave her off the trailer. Her two lambs hurled themselves off after her & buried themselves underneath her, their little tails wagging madly.

Say what? Tails? I hadn't noticed that, they're supposed to be docked. And then on closer inspection I realised "OHMIGOD! The two "T"s! Tails & Testicles!" That bastard Richard had sold me a couple of ram lambs, & I can see why they were cheap, it saved him having to do "things" to them to make the "wethers".

But rejoice, I rang our shearer & explained the situation, he said "No problem" he'd visit & do those "things" to them & all would be well.

I don't intend to watch, but hey, this is NZ, rams lose their knackers every day & seem none the worse for it.

Later, I ran into a neighbour, Mary, whose husband is Master Tim (my fencing master - Anthony Hopkins to my Zorro - lots about them way back at the beginning of this blog), she had already noted (ex farm wife that she is) the two "T"s, and suggested that Tim might pop over later & do "things" with his teeth. I politely declined the offer & told her Alan the shearer was onto it. I'm presuming Alan uses approved implements for the task. We're trying for "humane" around these parts.

The new sheep!-6

The new sheep!-7

The new kids got themselves accustomed to their new home, but the old guys, George & Otto were nowhere to be seen. They were of course, holed up in the forest. Although they knew something was up because at one stage I saw them peering through the fence at the new arrivals.

So I went & chased them out. They were curious, but nervous. They sneaked up on the two ewes & sniffed at the back of them, as animals do, then ran off when they turned around. But stayed fairly close. I guess it's the storming phase for the new team.

The new sheep!-8

The new sheep!-9

The new sheep!-10

The new sheep!-11

The new sheep!-12

Last I saw of them all, they were heading up into the forest to explore the rest of the property.

Wilma & I left them to it & headed back to Waikanae to return the trailer.