The Ruthven Fold

Yesterday four Scottish Longhorn heifers joined the merry band here at Ruthven. They seem very canny beasts and have ambled around the field a few times before settling, for now, by the compost heap.

Lyra the pup is agog with excitement. At every opportunity she is down by the fence watching intently. Yesterday, feigning the need to go out for a wee, she was down the hill and through the fence before I could intercept. Thankfully she is not a barking dog, and only wanted to play, so she limited herself to running around in circles, not getting too close. This let me sneak up close enough to muckle a lead out of baler twine and bring her under control. (How I lived without access to baler twine in the city I do not know – it is ubiquitous in the country and magically there is always a bit to hand when you need to fasten up a broken gate or catch a dog).

The ladies of the fold (the correct term for a herd of Scottish longhorns) seemed unperturbed and, by and large, just ignored her. However the littler of the two Catrionas was hand reared and came over quite close to see if there might be a treat in the offing. (We have 2 Catrionas and 2 Shonas, according to the pedigrees, but family names are being deployed to avoid confusion…..These are not fully settled as yet. There is to be a discussion over drinks this evening. Lord knows what will ensue but thankfully Anne is not mixing the Pimms this time). Lyra’s bravado proved paper thin as the little heifer approached and she was behind my wellies in a trice!

Needlessly to say, when we made it back to the house Lyra was in full “I could have been a contender mode” and spent the next half hour frenziedly showing an old slipper a thing or two and chasing her tail. She then fell asleep under the table clutching chewy rhino (who has been disembowelled and is in a poor state).

This morning Lyra was straight back at the fence on her first outing of the day, watching in fascination. A leisurely breakfast was clearly ruled out so I donned the wellies and we went for a long walk to burn off some energy (hers not mine!). Firmly on the lead we passed through the field, raising barely a nose twitch from the ladies. I made Lyra sit quietly for a bit (my Top Cat status working well) before we got to the stile and again on the way back, so hopefully familiarity will set in soon.

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