FUNNY HOW EVEN the most routine days can throw up a surprise. I delayed going for a run/walk after watching and being strangely drawn into the world of archery and ping pong at the Rio Olympics. Finally, I turned the TV off, got my running gear on and headed out the door on a typically windy grey day, the sun still bearing some sort of centuries old grudge against Scotland.
I ran, I walked, I ran, I walked, and was out of breath at least 50% of the time. Conveniently there’s a route about 4 miles long (that’s 1 light year to those on the metric system) that loops all the way back to where I stay. Part of it is a boring stretch along a main road, but then its quieter and once past a saw mill, there are fields of ripening grain, cows and a few houses.
I love animals. A strange quirk of mine, if no one else is around, is to make genuinely effective moo sounds at the cattle and see what their response is. Occasionally they’ll look at me baffled, wondering how a familiar sound came from an unfamiliar body, other times they’ll reply, but the usual reaction is they get excited and start charging across the field. I do not have food, but they likely think I do. Moo.
So I got that out my system, and jogged on down past a scenic area with some nice houses, then up and round past a drinks warehouse where I stopped to walk.
Around the corner from the warehouse is grassy scrubland with horses and sheep, and potato fields on the left. A few weeks back I tweeted about a goat (it is in fact a sheep..) and am going to quote myself:
Aug 4th – “Just back from a walk. Have you ever heard a goat whose balls haven’t dropped? You should.
I have passed the sheep that graze a grassy knoll many times and like the cow situation described above sometimes bleat at them. Either my bleat is more effective than my moo (this is where you question my sanity, I know…) or more realistic. Well a week ago when I tweeted, I mistook the sheep’s strange bleat for a lack of gravitational effect: of course I was joking.
As I was walking past the knoll, some of the dark-wooled sheep on the top of the hill started bleating. I replied. And I heard that strange bleat again. Only this time it was distant from the pack, and close to me. Peering up the banking, I tried to spot the sheep and wondered why it wasn’t with the posse (official farm slang for a group of sheep). It bleated again, and I climbed up a little to get a better view. The small sheep was by the fence and not really moving. Had it found a good patch of grass? It bleated once more and I figured it might be stuck, so I hopped the fence, and the sheep, maybe a year old was trapped, its head through a square piece of wire fencing.
Initially it was scared as I approached, pulling backwards trying to free itself. After a quick look at the fencing I gave he/she a little pat and then pulled the wire wider. Within a few seconds the sheep realised it was free and trotted off up the hill, before stopping to look back, probably wondering what the hell just happened. I doubt it would have been in that good a condition if it had been stuck for a week, so probably not the same goat. But it made the run/walk a bit better, more meaningful.