There was a swan relaxing on the water near the opposite bank to the cattle’s watering hold and Ben was quite interested. I was quite anxious, because I know how tricky swans can be, and Ben plunged cheerily into the water – but only to paddle, he didn’t go out of his depth. He ran around for quite some time after that, then found an area where the farmer had taken a tractor and the ground was quite churned up. He loved wallowing in the mud.
I looked at this dog, covered in mud, wet through and blissfully happy, and I felt happy myself. This is what a dog’s life should be, I thought. He’s a retriever, after all, running round the fields and going into the water are natural to him. Amelie wondered how I’d catch him to put his lead on and I assured her he’d come when I called. Before that, he went through another stream and washed most of the mud off and then we set off for home.
There’s a beck that runs between our garden and our further field (which is known as Humpy’s Meadow) and he decided to plunge into that too. Startled, Phil let go of the lead. I was just getting that sorted out when Ben had a good shake. The river water doesn’t taste *that* bad, but I still spat several times.
After putting him in the porch, where I rubbed him down with a towel, we went to visit the chickens. One had just laid an egg and clucked obligingly. Another ate out of my hand, the Sage picked up a black hen for Amelie to stroke and she was able to find three eggs to take back to the house. So she has learned a fair bit about living in the country. Phil and Lisa have discovered that we’re even more peculiar than I portray us as here.