I have been thinking about teasing and bullying lately. The Why and What for, to be precise. The world seems to be focusing on negative thoughts and deeds and political elections are all about fighting it out in public.
Hens’ starting to pick on each other is a sign of winter to come, around our yard. After a summer of light and space they are now starting to gather in groups when going in to the stable earlier, in the evenings. This results in bickering and down right pecking amongst the hens. As I can't stand the hierarchy system and the hen pecking, I always get involved. This leads to all the hens getting upset with me for meddling. As it breaks up whatever was brewing amongst them, it can be seen as a positive result to the situation.
While we have this, sometimes loud, interlude, our dear sheep stand staring at us, cross eyed with fatigue, just wanting to have their dinner and to go to sleep. I do feel for our four ladies, having to share their home with fourteen loud birds. Our sheep can also be loud sometimes but they hardly ever pick on each other. Mindy, Mandy, Molly and My never bullied Mr. Chip either. Molly could get a bit exited when she met him, but she never pushed him, thank goodness. Molly's broad forehead could easily send a bigger dog flying...
So I was completely taken by surprise by our sheep, when we had a lovely English bulldog visiting us, the other day. I thought our dear sheep would take one look at him and scamper. What they actually did was rush up to him, heads held low and then My did a warning jump in front of the very polite guest. They have never done that to a dog before. Maybe they miss Mr. Chip and wanted to inform the world in general that no new dog was welcomed here or then they did not understand what he was. The only one to behave with style was the dog, our lot came out as neighborhood thugs, from this encounter.
We have a little roe deer that comes to visit us regularly. It's tiny and it seems to spend the days alone. Firstly, it was our apple trees that interested our little guest, but now our four sheep seem to be as interesting as the fruit. It's funny to watch our fluffy sheep follow every move the deer makes and then slowly move towards the stable for safety. If Mindy looses her nerves, they bolt.
The roe deer is no threat to our sheep but it's a stranger and that's enough to rattle them. The deer just follows them calmly for a while and then carries on with its day. (I see to it that there are apples to be had for the small guest. It can't reach very high so I'm the tree shaker...). The hens do not mind the deer. They are busy digging up all and everything so one more four legged creature is no problem to them. It does not steal their worms and that's all that matters...
So training hens is back on the agenda, a sign of winter to come. We were asked if four hens could come and stay with us through the colder months ahead. I do believe it could work but we will close off some of the henhouse for them, just to be on the safe side. As I've said before, you never know with hens.
What we are to do with our dear sheep and their lack of social graces is another question. We can't really start taking them to town to practice being amongst other people and their animals. It would be fun though... I do believe that one should not take nastiness in any form so I will carry on meddling amongst our lovely animals. They really are kind souls, they are just a bit tired after an active summer. Aren't we all?
I read that Bulldogs are one of the few breeds whose tail is naturally short, straight or screwed and therefore not cut or docked. The disposition of a Bulldog should be calm, even tempered and kind and their demeanor should be pacific and dignified. Our guest had all of this plus an appreciation for good cheese. He seemed to be all heart and that's what matters at the end of the day. Be well and buy a reflector of some sort. Autumn is here....
A blog about a small holding in Southern Finland. Each original story is accompanied by a stunning watercolour illustration or resplendent photographs.