Friday, 24 August 2007
Memory Lane (6)
About a year after Princes 'mother' left, we were on the move again. This time we had no restrictions in terms of location, so we headed to the sticks. Well, not really, but a truly rural part of Cheshire, surrounded by fields, woods, horses and cows. Prince absolutely loved it. We moved to a beautiful old stone cottage, with a ramshackle garden, and much to Princes delight - resident rabbits!
Prince took to true country life like a duck to water. One of the things I've always loved about him is how adaptable he is, despite receiving very little 'formal' training. Horses are a good example. When we first got him, he was absolutely enthralled by them, and would frighten us to death by leaping up to try and snap at them over the stable door. By the time he reached his last home, he was happy to walk quietly alongside them, blow up their noses, and have his back nuzzled by them. The same went for cows.
Sheep were a different matter - he never really accepted them. I think a lot of this stemmed from his first real experience with them, at the previous house. What happened was my fault entirely. There was a field that we walked through regularly, and after walking through it almost daily for a couple of years, it had never had any form of livestock in it. However, one evening late in the Autumn after the clocks had gone back we approached the field in the dark and I let him off his lead. He shot off, which surprised me. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I could just make him out, mounting a small group of sheep one by one in the corner of the field. I'm not sure if he was trying to play with them, becoming amorous, or simply bewildered, but I was horrified. I'm pretty sure there was no malice in his actions, but I'm not sure the farmer would have seen it that way. Anyway, I stumbled across the field in the dark to retrieve him, losing the lead in the process, and we slunk off. Thankfully, all the sheep seemed unfazed by their experience, and I didn't see any suffering after-effects the next morning. Of course, Prince was delighted with his activities, and was on the lookout for willing participants for the 'mount the sheep' game from there on....