Tuesday, 9 February 2010


"Come on Hyacinth [please]"
The Vet, having fun, and very calm

YeeeHa mhath,
Ok, so today was a bit of a disappointment. I'd got all excited at the prospect at what was to come. Donned my best spangley waistcoat and topped the lot with my genuine Mexican sombrero. The lady waiting for the bus to town was somewhat surprised to see my headgear but I held my head high and continued down to The Round up and North Toslta Rodeo at The Croft.

I had in mind the films of years past - you know the type when Murdo-John Wayne rides across the wastelands behind thousands of cattle kicking up the dust as they bring them home to the ranch lassos whirling and stirrups stirring - or whatever they do. It wasn't quite like that I found. Mr Crofter, full of energy for the day ahead, shook a bucket of feed in the newly created cattle compound and eventually, after a bit of cajoling, Hyacinth, Tinga and CJ made their slow way across the mud in the gate from the byre to the 'corral'. The gate was quickly shut behind them and a little silage was given to them for a treat.

It was all because the Vet was coming to do a few tests - blood pressure, cholesterol and the like - and give a ring to CJ the bull. I know its nearly Valentines day but I really felt this was going too far. Soon the Vet arrived, not on a shining white stallion, leathers worn from years of hard riding to the farther reaches of the island but, in a white van and clad in the very best Fisherman's Coop style against the winter weather. "Howdee partner" the vet didn't say - disappointingly, as she took out a cheroot, drew heavily on the smoke and surveyed the scene. "It's a mighty fine croft you have here Sir" the vet also didn't say - but should have since Mr Crofter would have loved that.

Anyway, work had to be done so the cattle were encouraged into the crush by Mr Crofter, keen to impress the young vet. "Come on Hyacinth" came the manly motivation. Hyacinth obligingly trotted into the crush bringing a wide grin to the face of Mr Crofter at his expertise.

Then all of sudden I was surprised to hear Mr Crofter say "bother" once or twice. I swung round to see Hyacinth happily munching the grass outside of the crush having trotted straight through - the door not having been set properly. I must admit to having been rather stunned at this as Mr Crofter is on the North Tolsta Grazings committee and everything you know and, is pretty expert at things muddy and legged in the main. Especially guinea pigs - which I admit are rather easier to handle, don't have horns and at worst are going only to give your little toe a nasty suck.

So Hyacinth, luckily having the appetite of four columns of the British Army was able to be tempted back into the corral for another go by expert proffering of the feed bucket. In the meantime, CJ had made his way up the path to the crush and was busily trying to demolish the thing since the gate of the crush, having now been properly set, had closed in as it should do and trapped the poor fellow by the horns. The young Vet leant back, sucking at her tobacco [which I might add is NOT a good thing] smiling to herself - no doubt wondering if she should say the weather was too bad, Hector wanted her back to scratch the ears of some pooch or something. "Shall we proceed?" the vet enquired. We all stood back to let the expert in to within an arms reach of the bucking CJ and the crush.

It's a long story so I'll finish in the morn.

BTW; there's some more info and snaps on Bad Dude Biker Crofter here.

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