It has been said that the world is a magical place full of people waiting to be offended by something. This is probably true, but today, perhaps by accident, I might not offend anybody at all. I know it seems unlikely but in an infinite universe pretty well anything should be possible.
So this morning another hogg lambed. Working backwards on our fingers she wasn’t technically anyway near any of the tups when the lamb was conceived. So how had she managed it? All I can say is that she isn’t the first young lady who has wandered in shyly carrying a baby and hoping against hope that the overall atmosphere of cuteness will stop people asking difficult and embarrassing questions. So anyway the proud mum has brought her offspring into a parched world which is somewhat at odds with the world the other lambs arrived into. Instead of the ‘beast from the east’ we’re reliving the spirit of 1976, and the only green thing in the photograph is a thistle.
When it gets old enough to discuss things with other lambs, their tales of cold winds and driving rain are going to be met with stubborn disbelief. And of course, when you’re this age, grass has always been brown and crispy.
Still it’s happy and mum’s happy and everything’s fine.
Sal is also happy. Sal is a small Border Collie bitch with a taste for the finer things in life. We already knew she had a liking for pizza and warm sausage rolls. But the other day, through circumstances too complicated to discuss now, we acquired a very slightly time expired tuna melt panini.
Now I realise that the world contains many people who adore tuna. I admit to being someone who doesn’t particularly like tuna. So I sliced it as you would a loaf and dropped some pieces in the bottom of Sal’s food bowl before adding the biscuits.
Sal has added tuna melt panini to her list of foods that make for a superior dining experience.
So not long after feeding her I noticed that most of the sheep had moved from one field to the next. This is a good thing, tomorrow they’ll have to be fastened in the other field anyway so that we can take a fence down. So I collected Sal with the idea of moving the rest of them through and shutting the gate on them.
Sal shot off towards the sheep, screeched to a halt and ran back to her food bowl, grabbed another piece of her panini and then went to move the sheep. Personally I suspect that it’s the cheese rather than the tuna but even so, she seems to enjoy it. I can imagine the advertising slogan. ‘Border collies prefer our panini to sheep.’
Now amongst the sheep were our young mum and her lamb. They’d found a place in the shade, sitting in a cattle creep feeder. Sal rapidly moved the rest of the sheep through the gate and then came back to glare at the laggard. Time was wasting; panini doesn’t eat itself you know.
But the concerned mum wasn’t going out of her way to be cooperative. Sal slots nicely into the ‘wolf’ end of a sheep’s recognition chart and there was no way she was taking her darling child out there into the blazing sun with wolves prowling.
Sal couldn’t get in because our young mum nicely blocked the entrance and was perfectly happy to come out at speed, forehead first if Sal tried it on. So eventually I had to go in, collect the lamb and mum followed behind me, muttering under her breath about the fact that the world seems to be going to the dogs.
Sal trotted behind, moderately happy with the way things were finally moving forward.
Then with the last two in the field and the gate shut, she glanced briefly at me before running off to finish her tea.
Oh yes, and I got a book review, well two actually
A Measured Response
Benor the cartographer is offered a job away from home with unusually generous pay. It all has to be done on the quiet, too. Something’s up. Benor has a murder to solve. I thought he had, but there’s more to come. This story is a murder mystery and a comedy of manners, set in a world of fantasy. If you like a genre mashup, this is brilliant. The characters and their relationships and banter would make it worth reading even if it didn’t have a plot – but it does. Another winner for me.
A Licence to Print Money
Someone has tried to cheat Benor and his young ‘apprentice’ Mutt. They set out, with a little help, to redress the balance. Another in this series of Port Naain novellas that had me smiling. They are not belly-laugh stories but full of wry, clever and thoughtful humour. Often, it’s the way he tells them. I’m always up for more of these stories.
go on, treat yourself, because you’re worth it.