Tales from the Mad Bush Farm

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A rough draft of some of the short stories I've written about our life here on a small 12 acre farm. Nothing is normal at the Mad Bush Farm in Northland New Zealand.
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  Composted on Monday Many years back a lady I knew told me a story about one of her Mondays. She was out in her garden happily planting away, listening to the sounds of little lambs cavorting in the paddock next door, and the sound of birds singing away. It was tupping time - the time when the rams are put in with the ewes to make well... more little lambs and next year's export dinners. That was okay. All of the rams were in with the ewes, the garden was doing well and.......then there was the crashing sound. Little did she know one of the fence posts had come to the end of its life and had rotted out. She had been spotted by one particular ram who 'rammed' his way through the entire fence then 'rammed' her in her rear end with his big thick woolly head which in turn sent her flying up into the air straight into the compost heap—head first. I'm not kidding either. Let's just say the next day that same ram was hanging on a hook in the chiller....wonder...why. Ever had a cow follow you to your mailbox? Okay I have had a cow follow me to the mail box. The Terrorist got out recently and I forgot she was around the outside house that morning. Typical of me to go out stomping in my gumboots, open the gate and walk up to the mailbox. Of course I find the usual bills waiting for me—oh  joy. That morning I had extra company. Other than two cats, and four chickens that usually accompany me on that short  journey up to our rural mail box, I was joined by the Terrorist. Stupid had left the gate open, and out had come one small jersey cow determined to make certain her hooman knew she was around. Other cows would head straight for the road and see you later. But not the Terrorist. No she decided her 'mummy' needed a hair trim. Next thing I know there she is beside me at the mail box eating my hair! OUCH! It hurt too. Worse were the horns sticking into my read end while I was trying to get the mail out. Then she decided to lick me with her sandpaper tongue. With cats trying to trip me up, and Maggie trying to peck at the mail I had in my hand back we went through the gate Terrorist reattached to my clothing ..said gate was closed in a hurry. It was too funny not to cartoon and make fun of what was a very funny event.  My Thursday Comedy Act Farming is the life for meeeeee!!!! Hmmm................... . They talk about farm stories. Nice tales of long summer days and lovely long walks out on the country road. Try that here and you'll end up getting flattened by a passing milk tanker or a four wheel drive if you walk on our roads. As for one paritcular Thursday.....ARRRGGHHHH!!!!!!!! This is one farm story that is more liked a crazed comedy from a Laurel and Hardy show or a really bad Hong Kong Kungfu movie perhaps. It began with our bull deciding he would go and introduce himself to some of Terry's milking herd, who fortunately were safely behind a 6 wire electric fence and well out his reach. Up we trudged to get the little sod, who of course, looked so innocent and came when he was called. Then right behind him Peter, Terry's farm manger, showed up on his quad and gave the sod a damned good rev up. Thanks to Pe-ter we got the little beggar back behind the gates and where he should be and that should have been that..right?...wrong I set up a new break feed. Had just gone in to have a coffee with my Mum when Sasha our old thoroughbred mare de-cided to have a roll and she caught her leg in the electric wire. Of course she got shocked and bolted dragging the wire with her and ripping everything out. Let's just say the words that came out of mouth needed a lot of censors in that moment. After roaring myself hoarse (excuse the pun) for the kids to turn off the fence and get their backsides up the drive to help me deal with getting back the bull and River back in - we sorted that one out... Problem solved....NO!!!!!!!!!!! An hour later yet again!!! Guess what? We have the entire fence ripped out, and yet again, the bull was out and in my mother's garden. By then I was ready to go and get a gun and drop him where he stood. I'm surprised steam wasn't coming out of my ears. Yet again it was up the darned hill. Fix the fence then find out why the mains fence wasn't working properly. Sorted the connections out. Poor Inaya had to stand in the cold wind with a huge stick to keep the bull off the wire while Mum stomped up and down all over the farm checking the earthing rod wires and all the connections. Fi-nally we got the mains back on..and hoped like heck Micah stayed where he was put. So far so good..but I won't hold my breath there. If he gets out again..only one decision will be made. Into my freezer he will be going..grrrr. I'm surprised I wasn't reported for illegal nuclear meltdowns, freak storms, Co2 emissions and other environmentally unfriendly acts not to mention the cattle stick I had waving around. After this I have to admit it definitely was a bad hair day. The Red Devon from Hell This is the story of one Red Devon cow with the name of Ruth – but I renamed her the Tart. This cow was shock proof, fence proof and everything else proof. The Tart had brains. That’s bad in a cow that means only one thing on a farm – trouble and lots of it This bovine had brains and the trouble making nature that usually results in the hacked off owner sending the thing off on the truck to the works. Not this one – too good for that. Started off as a yearling the old break out through the back fence trick and end up in the neighbours forestry block for three months. Took five motorbikes and the boys next door to get her out. Then there was the electric fence immunity. Same old story. Move the cattle – and the Tart would head straight out and under into the garden. We had her for a couple of years. She had a nice calf then my mother decided it was time the Tart and her sister had to be sold. Oh yeah she was trouble all right. Got the Tart yarded….and things went downhill rap-idly from there. She must have known she was headed off for other pastures. There was me and the kids about to head on back down home now the cattle were yarded when we heard a loud cracking sound. Sure enough the Tart had smashed her fat red head through the railings and was in the process of attempting to do the jail break. No way was I going to let that happen. So there we were- me with a cattle stick and the kids with hunks of rubber pipe running around the outside of the yards trying to stop this nutcase red cow from getting out. Every gap pos-sible the Tart tried to break through including a five wire fence. Talk about nuts! Finally the truck turned up and the guy wasn’t too keen to take on a hacked off bovine nutcase with escape on her mind. Yeah I got the job and booted the Tart all the way up the loading ramp and into the truck. And like those rotten sheep we got rid of – I won’t ever miss her. Take a lesson from me. If you end up with a nutcase cow with brains – eat it.  This story is literally about packing away a certain species known as ovine aka sheep into the back of an SPCA van. Well they were close to making it there after busting out several of insulators and letting two of the heifers out. Let's just say my mother wanted a very big gun when she got home and found her newly planted garden turned into the exact replica of a WWII battle field. The cause all the havoc - two walking car-pets with fleeces several inches long no set of shearing blades would get a look in on. After having a chat with the local SPCA the two girls Kyra and Rachel showed up one cloudy winter's day to tell yours truly they had a nice kind home for our unwanted woolly ovine pals. I hate sheep. Cattle I'll take any day over those dumb useless ovine creatures then again they did give us a few laughs. Problem - catching the beggars. But wait...I had a cunning plan... The second part of this sorry little saga begins with..Kyra and Rachel from the SPCA turning up with a van. Well I'm used to seeing sheep in stock trailers not..a van? They eye the two woolly sods staring back up there on the hill.........as for me well I'm used to dealing with sheep and their obnoxious habit of running everywhere but where you want the sods to go. I had a plan so cunning ..and to quote the famous Black Adder himself I have a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel. Thanks Black Adder. The cunning plan involved the following. Item 1 - one times set of yards. Item 2: Two kids and Mum. Item Three: Three Bovines who think they are people and last but not least .. Item 4 SPCA Inspectors and their van. And the story continues. Kyra and Rachel headed up the top in their van much to my poor mother's dismay that perhaps this visit wasn't about anything good. No all good - thing was would the cunning plan work? I follow with kids. Head over to Terry's place -close off the gates and open up the yards. Head back to where Rachel and Kyra are now attempting to round up the two woolly sods. “No need” I tell 'em. Cows are suspicious of the two new humans in their paddock..and won't shift out. Of course they won't they don't like strangers - but love their mummy . Easy to solve. Call cows - cows follow - woolly sods do the typical ovine follow the leader act..heh heh heh..... Get cows into yarding paddock with woolley sods now realising they have been duped..and attempting to do the runner. Unsuccessful of course. We yarded the sods!!! Cut out the now hacked off ovine beggars and ran them up the crush. Now the fun part.....getting the heavy woolly beggars into the back of the van. Master Cavalier was first on the list. Nabbed him by the wool rope on - Kyra and Rachel both trying in vain to shove said sheep into the van. Help required. Two on back end while avoiding being crapped on - one attempting to take front end. Trouble was the fleece on the sod was so long we couldn't find the legs. Solution tip sheep over - bad idea - sheep ends on standing on head. Reversed sheep back. Sheep sulks. Won't move....darn. Kyra can't get in to pull sheep for-ward. I'm smaller get in with sheep. Grab ears and pull head forward. Find a leg...move leg. Grab fleece..sheep heavy...shove mutter..yank..ouch my back...Kyra and Rachel shoving from sheep's rear end.....ten minutes later...sheep now in. I sit on sheep. Comfortable...take rope off sheep get out. Lock in first sheep. Back now killing me. Everyone totalled. Now for the next one....Three grab sheep two (Master Brem-worth) Lift sheep off ground...our aching backs.....are...killing...us....mutter..whine..complain..Sheep gets the drift. Stands up on front legs. Gumboots used to shove sheep in the rest of the way. Sheep locked in....mission com-pleted. Kyra and Rachel get in van and drive away with the two woolly sods sulking in the back. I won't miss them.
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