I am writing from the faraway lands of Ontario. In the past 6 months,I have been in three different provinces, living the life of a performer and experiencing all the highs and lows that it brings. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had and the people I have met. True gifts.
Despite my absence, I still feel as if I am connected to the farm because of emails like this that I receive from my mother. Some of these stories are best told by her:
“Sudden banging on the front door aroused us from a relaxing mid-morning tea break. I knew immediately there was trouble, the fencing kind of trouble where all the neighbours know your name, but don’t sing your praises. Indeed, the husky, bewhiskered dairy man from down the road was standing in full blown agitation at the front door – his truck still running for speedy getaway – and he bellowed “Your Bulls are in with my Heifers!”
Did I mention we had bought FOUR DAIRY BULLS masquerading as beef steers? (I mean, what did we know about the difference between dairy and beef cattle this first year of Sorrento farming? They all had four legs, right?) The bewhiskered dairy farmer took off back to his precious heifers, and three of us piled into a vehicle and raced after him, amazed and proud that our little lovely calvey walveys had made it 2 kms down the hill, through multiple barbed wire fences and had found “The Gals”. We glowed as we remarked on how smart our calves were, indeed a sense of ownership pride filling our hearts. But within minutes, we experienced a rapid change of heart as we faced the great dilemma posed by our runaway Bully Boys – how to get them back home when they had no intention of leaving The Gals? Within minutes, we were indeed glowing but not from pride and joy. With sweat running down our faces and hearts pumping overtime, we were running full out in attempts to herd the over-excited, attention deficit Bully Boys back home.
You may remember I wrote, down the hill, just a few short sentences ago, and a very smart person would know that what runs down must struggle back up. Indeed, this is so, and never more so as I zigged and zagged back and forth in top running gear up a VERY STEEP 2 km hill. Neighbours went by chuckling that this was the new “Jenny Craig Workout for Sorrento” and giving advice on different ways to skip up the hill for maximum fat burning benefit. We politely smiled and waved in between ragged breaths and curses at Bully Boys who had suddenly turned into brilliant homing devices, constantly recalculating the quickest route back to The Gals! “Can we outwit four bull calves?” was the million dollar question of the moment. We were sorely tested and definitely humbled by the time we secured the double padlock on their barn gate, three hours later!
One might think that those bully boys would never have escaped again, and to be true, we did put them the next day into our VERY BEST FENCED FIELD! “Ah Hah!” we crowed in their bully faces, “You can’t get out of THERE!!!!” But they did, the very next evening…My husband and I were all dressed in our magnificent finery looking forward to dinner out with friends. As we were leaving the long and winding road to our property, I glanced across the field looking for the regular evening appearance of a lovely herd of deer. But what is this? A rusty colored deer was gracing our fields?!!? An aberration? A trick of the light? “NO, BEGAAADS!” I shrieked in top soprano “The Bully Boys are out AGAIN!!” High heels flew in the hayfield as I leapt out of the car and attempted to block their path, spurred on by visions of no sugar coated fairies danced in my head, but very angry be-whiskered dairy men shaking their fists in my direction! Dinner had to wait; it was time to start the Evening Attire Version of the HighCroft Farm Running Race again! Those bully boys HAD TO BE STOPPED!!”
Title: Man and Goat
The excitement never ends with my family. Tune in for the next adventure featuring the hooligan pictured above!