Good fences make good cattle

It was a particularly busy and productive morning and a certain amount of self-congratulation, we thought, was in order by lunchtime.  We’d bought a couple of dressed crabs from Matt at the market and ate them, with a modest salad of home-grown tomatoes and cucumber, for lunch.  Eloise cat was thrilled, of course,  Crab is her favourite meal.

Having been so busy all morning, we felt quite justified in relaxing somewhat this afternoon.  I was going out in the evening, so went to have a shower and wash my hair, which has become unusually shaggy of late.  I forgot that, when I last had it cut, their online booking system was down, so I said I’d phone in later for my next appointment.  I only remembered this when I started to trip over my flowing locks some weeks later.  I do now have an appointment for the week after next, but I’ll just have to wind it in pigtails in the meantime.

Anyway, I was just dressing again when I looked out of the window and saw three cattle striding across the drive and behind Rose’s bungalow.  LT and I hurried out (as soon as I was decent enough) and he went to send them towards the front field while I went around the house the other way to open the gate for them.  Unfortunately, they were only too keen to go that way and reached the gate before I did.  Of course, they then went back again, bustled past Tim and went into the field of maize.

It was impossible to follow them without boots, as there were nettles and brambles at the edge of the field, so I went for my wellies.  On the way, I looked in at the cattle on my field – and there were too many of them.  Clearly, about a dozen bullocks had broken down the fence on the further side of the field and barged their way in.  Jonny’s bullocks were being reasonably good natured about it, but there was a certain amount of barging and jostling.

Beyond the field, there is a footpath and I have a barbed wire fence to keep the cattle in.  Beyond the path, there’s a man-made waterway with a concrete bottom and sides.  The farmer who rents the field beyond lets his cattle drink from the river – however, at times of the year when the water level is low, they can wade through the water and come up the other side of the bank.  He has always been known to be a bit casual about this sort of thing.

I left a message for Jonny, who phoned back a little later.  He’ll come and sort things out in the morning.  In the meantime, the three original bullocks had gone back down the drive and headed back to their field – I don’t know if they found their way in, I was due to go out and I’d rather stopped caring, after a considerable time trying unsuccessfully to deal with the problem. I said to Tim and Rose, I didn’t think it would be a good idea to go in the field.  Twenty excited bullocks , even quite young ones, have the potential to make it a perilous journey.

5 comments on “Good fences make good cattle

  1. Tim

    Yes, I might stare down three bullocks, but not twenty (ish, they wouldn’t keep still long enough for a precise headcount).

  2. Mike & Ann.

    That’s a neat Norfolk saying, Z. I think the original was ‘ good fences make good neighbours’ wasn’t it?


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