Well, I think it about time to meet some of the animals at Sue and Ralph’s. First up we have the two Tamworth pigs.
They are about five months old and don’t have names as yet. I’ve taken to calling them Bert and Ernie as they remind me of the two characters on Sesame Street.
They are brothers and Sue is keeping them as pets. Très lucky pigs these two are! They are like puppies and will come racing across the field whenever we go out to see them. They love a belly rub and will lie down on the grass for some attention. They are supposed to earn their keep by eating the bracken in their field but so far they don’t seem to be that interested in it and would rather have a baked potato! Last week Bert, or was it Ernie, escaped from the field and had a little soirée up and down the road outside the house. We were alerted, whilst having dinner, by the dogs that something was amiss and sure enough a pig was on the loose! Apparently it was Ralphs pig – when any incident happens it is always Ralphs pig in the thick of it! Said porker had got out under the fence. Three sides of the field have an electric wire around but one side if just wire fencing.
After much tooing and froing we enticed Bert (or was it Ernie) back into the field with some food and secured them in with another line of electric fencing.
That’s another job in the pipeline for us to help out with – pig proof fencing.
Then we have the three donkeys. Chocolat and Café are sisters.
I felt sorry for them at first as their necks looked a bit odd and, having an over active imagination, I assumed Sue had rescued them from an awful situation. It turns out, and I didn’t know this, that donkeys store fat in their necks so instead of being poor mistreated animals they are just fat! Sue has had them from foals! They are now only allowed out for a limited time in one of the fields to try to stop them eating so much and slim them down a bit. Kind of like Weight Watchers for donkeys.
Then we have Wonkey Donkey.
So named because she trips over her own hooves when she walks and is a bit, well, wonkey. She is like the Ile de Ré donkeys with a thick shaggy coat. She is just adorable!
I fulfilled one of my bucket list items on Tuesday with Chocolat and Café. Tim and I took them out for a 5km walk around the lanes and through the forest.
I’m not sure what motorists think when confronted with two donkeys on a lead on the road ahead but I’m sure they’re used to it in these ‘ere parts. They were both incognito anyway with their fly masks on hoping not to be recognised!
We were armed with a carrot each and we weren’t afraid to use them.
Needless to say we did have to entice both of them with the carrots as once they decide they’re not going anywhere they mean it even if a car is coming.
It’s not easy trying to shove a donkey over to the side of the road to let a car pass when they are adamant they want to have a rest and a ‘chat’ with the cows in the adjacent field.
Suffice to say, with much cajoling, we got them round the 5km circuit in one piece and then let them go free range in the top field for an evening snack to replace all those calories lost on the walk.
They need to keep up their fighting weight! People would pay good money to do this sort of stuff you know!
À la prochaine.