BACK home again and amazingly John has survived without me. Ate very little of what I left for him in the freezer as he was invited out so much. He doesn’t get away with things that easily however. It’s freezer fare for the next week.
And things have moved on swiftly. Whilst I was texting home about the wonderful weather in Venice, news came back that the heatwave could barely be tolerated in England.
And, within twenty minutes of me driving back into the yard I was standing at the gate to the gathering area in the foldyard with a herd of cows bellowing at my back to get out of this place and into those fields.
With a family entourage to help and stationed tactically on the lane to stop any passing cars being flattened by frenzied cattle, everything was ready to go.
Save for the fact that the most recently born calf had decided he could not leave Mum’s side and was standing between the gate and the milling herd.
Clearly, if the gate was opened at this stage we would have a 2D version of a calf left when the dust had cleared.
John legged it back from the road and squeezed through the gate – no mean feat with all those cows wanting to get out at the same time - lifted the calf up and carried it back across the road. More bellowing from the cows. How dare he? It’s not fair etc. etc.
Road clear, and John now positioned at the back of the herd to chase up any stray calves, the signal went up for me to fling back the gate.
And move very smartly stage left to avoid being flattened myself.
Our bull, an easy going going guy, got swept up in the rush and chased out with his girls (or rather matrons). Definitely one to avoid. He is huge.
It is a few seconds of madness. Some of the older calves are up to chasing off with the cows although they are not sure where they are going. Others need to be chased and chivvied across the road.
There are always a few who have to go in a trailer at the end as they are not willing to go anywhere and just mill around looking baffled. So we shut the gate on them till they could be picked up later.
Meanwhile the tiny calf, who had been left in the field to wait for his Mum, had taken matters into his own hooves. Pushed through the hedge and set off round the village.
Now we not only had the cows racing round the field checking out all the exits, but a tiny calf who had found one.
One cross farmer and a few trampled flower beds later he was back with Mum.
By now the feckless mothers who had dumped their offspring for a hedonistic life in the fields had remembered what they had done and wanted their children back.
Ten minutes after the reunion, peace returned.