By: Blonde Two

Tomorrow I am beginning the long trek home.  Norm and I have just been to friends for a farewell dinner party and we got to talking about sheep – what more appropriate topic could there for a New Zealand dinner party!  Sheep, especially hand-reared ones it turns out, can be very naughty creatures.  I had my own experience of this during my first visit to New Zealand when Barney the Ram took an instant dislike to me.  Every time I entered a paddock occupied by Barney, as soon as my back was turned, he would come running and butt me up the backside (this particular target wasn’t as large then as it was now).  As I was often out in the paddocks picking wild mushrooms (not those mushrooms!) I spent a lot of time sprawling in the grass.

A wee while ago, Norm had a similar problem with George the Ram.  Norm and George had had various disagreements about who was in charge of the paddocks and George was winning when Norm hit on an idea.  He turned a bucket upside down and stuck it over George’s head!  There was an instant result as George stood completely still until Norm had finished his work and removed the bucket.  This great plan worked for a while until Norm spent so long working one day that George, lulled into a sense of security by his bucket, fell asleep. As George relaxed, his head tipped forwards and the bucket fell off thus waking him up. Sheep are definitely not as stupid as we make them out to be because, after that, George knew that all he had to do was tip his head forwards, the bucket would fall off and he could get on with the important business of chasing Norm around the paddock.

After Bucketgate, George became more and more of a nuisance until one day Aunty was loading some cows to go to the butchers (in those days, you sent your cow off to the butcher and you got the same cow back in freezer sized packages.)  George, in his usual naughty style, got in the way and caused so much mayhem that the butcher suggested that he take him away with the cows.  Aunty had had enough and poor old George was dispatched to only appear again as beef and lamb sausages.  This, whilst sad for George, was a good result.  The barbecue was full and Norm got his bucket back.