Keeping a close eye on a mum who is definitely a ‘bad ‘un’

“WHAT have you done” I exclaimed as John came in with a towel wrapped round a hand apparently dripping with blood.

He laughed. How brave I thought, then realised he really was laughing.

“It’s not blood it’s iodine” he said. “But it could have been much worse. The cow had a go at me when I was trying to dip the calf’s navel in iodine. You will have to come out with me if I am going to be able to get a tag in her calf’s ear without being pulverised.”

The cow in question was a bad ‘un last year when she calved.

A brilliant mother but a very possessive one. To the point of being murderous.

As an older cow we had been watching her all yesterday as John thought she was due to calve and right enough, this morning, a little black heifer was curled up in the straw of the foldyard.

With Mum standing guard over her and uttering a low, menacing bellow if either of us went near.

Although deciding after an executive meeting over a cup of tea that we would leave the job until tomorrow, we still had a job to finish in the foldyard.

An electrical surge last night had caused several of the lights to blow.

John needed to get them sorted out in daylight so that if anything calved tonight, and when he fed round this evening, he could see what he was doing.

Erecting a set of ladders in the midst of a foldyard full of a) inquisitive, b) possessive and c) verging on the psychopathic cows, is not a job you embark on single handed.

So his lovely assistant was required to stand at the bottom of the set of ladders and fend off any cows fancying a bit of climbing experience.

Fortunately all went well, but I am hoping that Mrs Psycho will have calmed down a bit tomorrow when we put the ear tag in her daughter as she is definitely one to be watched.

Regarded me very suspiciously and kept coming towards us with her head lowered. At one point I had to give her a sharp tap on the nose with John’s crook, which I do not suppose has endeared us to her.

At the other end of the size scale to a cow, we have been having problems with a mouse. More likely mice.

At Christmas, in the far sitting room, I placed a big bowl of nuts in the inglenook fireireplace.

A few were left in the bowl after all the decorations were cleared away.

Needing some nuts for a recipe I went through to this end room, tried to push open the door and found it jammed with several hazelnuts under the bottom of the door.

Coincidentally, I had been puzzled why I kept finding the occasional hazelnut in the cupboard under the stairs.

The link?

A mouse hole with a nut suspiciously close to the entrance.

I am afraid it is mousetraps at dawn. And no fear of a head butt when I get too close.