Monday, 7 January 2013

A horny ram knows no boundaries


What a week it has been at Llanevan. The fantastic Spring weather visited on our fair Isle in late March and April served to bolster the blossom and hence reward the cider drinker with a belting apple crop. Ranatunga the Adder (see Dog Fish) has been shedding his skin and working like mule to gather the bumper bramleys. The unseasonably mild autumn weather has allowed him to work with the sun on his scales and a ssssssssssssmile on his face, but in contrast it has stifled the mushroom growth. The soil has been hard and dry and has not coughed forth even the tiniest of fungi. Until the last few days.
The rains have come in monsoon fashion and Mother Nature has cried the tears of a lady stood up on a date of promise. The moment the clouds clustered together and whispered menacingly, James Johnston, my useless sheepdog, was a tail chase circle of excitement. When the water fell, he whipped off his collar and shimmied across the forming puddles on the yard. He loves his mushrooms.
Off he skipped the following morning with his wicker basket and told me to sweat some butter.
"'Shrooms on toast for brekkie," he declared. I waited and waited for the black and white bugger to return but after two hours I strode out to find him. Eventually I discovered the mutt giggling like a rat in Tesco's and sat in a hollow at the foot of the oldest oak on the farm. He'd been at the wrong kind of mushrooms.
"Come and look at the worms. The little wriggly worms," he tittered, his eyes as wide as the horse mushrooms he had failed to find, "they're pink and they're off to see Mr. Woopsey for a cup of leaves." Great. A hallucinogenic sheep dog is no good to man nor beast.
So he was not much help when a problem arose and became a real horn in my side.
Radnot the Ram passed away last May, but will be looking down from the meadow in the sky with pride, because his son Tap 'n' Go, the only thing left to remind me of him, has made a serious hoof print in the wool.

Before James' psychedelic blip, we released the frothing Rams in amongst the bevvy of gorgeous ewes and the usual orgy ensued. Most Rams tear around the field stunning ewes with sensational chat up lines and the promise of Argos jewellery in return for a five second rut and very few stray beyond the taut wire boundaries of the farm; but not Tap 'n' Go. His eyes were bigger than his willy.
I was trying to coax James off his purple cloud when the neighbouring farmer called me. 'Did I own a short, squat sandy faced Ram with curly horns? And if I did would I like him back?' Oh no. I arrived on the farmer's yard just as Tap 'n' Go was climbing onto one of his ewes. And she wasn't give him a leg up to a reach an apple.
"Sod off you pervert!" Tap 'n' Go yelled in reply to me asking him to come home as he thrashed away on the blushing ewe.
"Know your limits young man!" I scolded when we returned to Llanevan. I don't want an insurance claim because you've been bonking everyone else's sheep. "Stay where I put you. There are plenty of ladies to socialise with here."
Two hours later the 'phone rang again. It was the farmer on the otherside. 'Do you have a................" I'm on my way. I arrived to placate another vexed farmer. As I issued an apology the errant Ram was bonking for his tiny life.
"That's a pedigree Texel ewe lamb he's shagging! I don't want to have lambs by that useless piece of sh...."
"It will not happen again," I promised and dragged Tap 'n' Go into the back of the Land Rover. He was as hot as coal. A small circle of randy heat. He almost melted the aluminium cover of the vehicle.
"I can't trust you. You are going in here." I selected the most impregnable shed on the yard with a five foot high steel door and no windows. A Colditz mouse would have been stumped trying to escape from it. I left him with a couple of copies of PlayRam to ease 'the pressure' and entered the house to see if James had landed back on earth. He had, but was wearing his painting beret and poncho and was daubing bright blobs of colour on a canvass.
"I need to record where I have been," he said. Judging by his painting he had just become one of a select few dogs to orbit the planet. "Where have you been?"
"Chasing that bloody Ram all over Radnorshire! He's hornier than a Manx sheep."
"Takes after his dad, he was always fond of 'sitting on the fence'.
"Yeah, well he's sat on his last 'fence' for this year..........." Never speak too soon in farming. The 'phone rang. It was the farmer of the farm from which I had JUST retrieved Tap 'n' Go.
"You'll never guess who is sat on top of my prize ewe? COME AND GET HIM BEFORE I CUT HIS CO...."
James and I searched the shed, but could not find a single clue to his escape. "How on earth, unless he can levitate, did he get out of here?"
"Love knows no boundaries," James said with bleary eyes.
"Don't you get all romantic. Love is not a sin. Greed is."
The farmer was hopping pink when we arrived. He claimed that he had witnessed Tap 'n' Go shag over twenty five sheep at least. Which, when considering the time it would have taken him to run there, meant his ratio was one every thirty seconds. He may have been the pain of my days, but even so you've got to take your hat off to that. Shame it wasn't an Olympic event, because he was nailed on for Gold.
And was is the operative word, because Tap 'n' Go bonked his way into a trip to Alton Towers (see Season's First). Even moments before the end he was trying to scramble under the bars to get at a MILF in the next pen. I was later informed that he did actually manage to get to her. Well what would you know? The only animal so far to actually have a ride at Alton Towers. At least they both died with a smile on their face.
But the farmer with the champion sheep was still not satisfied and said the damage had been done, so I sent James on a diplomatic mission to smooth things over. He returned six hours later looking furtive.
"Is he calm?" I asked.
"Uh, yeah, you could call him calm."
"What did he say?"
"Hard to make sense of it all, but when I left he was boarding his dragonship for a quick cruise around the Galaxy. God was expecting him for tea. Apparently."
"Oh no. What did you put in his tea?"
"Hey, I did what you asked. What goes up, must calm down."

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