Monday, 13 October 2008

Tuesday 19 June 2007

What a rum old evening it has been.

I was shaking and terrified for at least 45 minutes prior to my partner's arrival home from work because the sky was dark and the rumbling sky-dog was repeatedly growling and flashing. After he had departed, we went to Abbotstone and the weather was suddenly beautiful - soft summer sunshine, a cool refreshing breeze, and birds heralding the evening with their song. Perfect, in short, for venturing out to kill wildlife.

Actually, I was unsuccessful in my aim. This is probably because my mind was preoccupied. I confess that I had been expecting a delegation of small hedgerow and meadow animals to present me with a fruit basket or some similar token of their gratitude for ridding them of the buzzard. But nothing has come forth. Not even a card, signed by them all, left at the edge of the warren. Ungrateful wretches. Ah well. Thwarting that upstart buzzard was satifying in and of itself, so I have no need of trinkets or baubles.

But enough of fripperies. I will return to the happy topic of my lovely Welsh holiday. Perhaps the nicest day of our soujourn was the second full day, when we (all seven of us) visited a wildlife park/farm. It was a basic but lovely place, where well-kept beasties dwell to be stroked, petted and fed (with special food bought from the nice new visitors' centre) by visitors. There were lots of different folk, such as sheep, ponies, cows, a donkey, pigs, as well as more exotic types like a llama, wallabies, emus, etc., and the place also features the best site from which to observe dolphins and seals. Yes!! The long-anticipated day of my Battle Royale with a seal had arrived!

Here is an aerial picture of the farm site:
Poppit Sands is top left-ish. The farm is by the white pip above the island (Seal Island - wahey!) at the corner of the reddish field. Nice. The farm's website is if you want a closer look.

What made it especially nice was that I was welcomed as heartily as the human members of my family, which was a refreshing change. I wore my lead of course, but freely walked around at my partner's side. My partner's brother bought two bags of animal food for Ewan to dole out to the beasts at his discretion (he was too little really, but he had a fair crack at it and my partner's brother and father did the actual feeding). I was thus able to investigate and dispense my wisdom to a wide variety of beasts, some of which I had never encountered before. For example:
LLAMA: employs the language of the toilet and also spits like one. (He spat not at me, but right in the face of my partner's father. Ho ho).

GOAT : does the work of Beelzebub on earth (Ewan's tiny paw also shown in this picture).

Do you observe the horns on this goat? Imagine for a moment, if you will, that you are a handsome Staffordshire Bull Terrier, attempting to impart life-advice to just such a young goat under the cover of stealing his food. You may then comprehend how surprised I was to be headbutted by the ignorant wretch. Right in the snout too! He had another pop at me when I tried to remonstrate with him and he had an uncannily good aim. He managed to nut me in exactly the same place - he was clearly jealous of my looks and attempting to disfigure me. I was left with deeply wounded pride and a throbbing bruise along the left side of my snout. Needless to say, there was scant sympathy from my partner. After a quick cuddle and a consolatory kiss on the snout she merely said "What have I told you about annoying things with horns? I told you at least three times this morning that you weren't to aggravate the goats but you didn't listen. You have no-one but yourself to blame." I developed a sudden keen interest in some pot-bellied pigs, and pretended not to hear her.

And so, we came at last to the seals. Not part of the farm, of course, but wild in the lovely clean seawater. Often to be observed from the cliffs. We didn't see any dolphins (I think my friends from the day before were right, it was too early in the year for them). But we DID see the seals! I girded my loins and prepared to do battle.....

Ahem, yes. Bigger than you think, those lads. Er... well... did I fight one? Um, well, take a look at these postcards that I bought in the shop:

I may not be the sharpest stick in the woodpile, but I'm not completely stupid.

Good night.
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