All is quiet. No movement around anywhere, including the campervan, sitting out back under the oak tree:
Ah, someone wakes up:
Tess. Foggy with sleep. Not best pleased with still being in her travelling vehicule. But here. Time to get her sorted:
Hubs is here too, after having driven her back from the Charente, six hours away, making a twelve hour round trip. And here he is undoing the electric fence wire which I had to clamber over last night to feed Max, who is at this moment eating his breakfast over the other side of the pen.
Operation 'Get Tess Out Of The Van' begins. She is reluctant, still fazed from her recent road trip, but a pot of food under her nose is leading her forward.....
And down the make-shift wooden ramp, gingerly she shovels her way into her new life.
But Hubs rattles the pot of food, cooing and chatting to her, to encourage her forward. She comes.
And here she is. The bare patches along her back are from the scratching post in her pervious home. Tams like to rub themselves with a vigour which is quite alarming to behold. When Max arrived and promptly took advantage of his hut by using that as his scratching post, we thought he would end up with no skin, such was his enthusiasm to have a scratch. But now he does this hardly at all. It might be because his wallow is quite deep so he is most times smothered in mud, dried or otherwise. Quite frankly this makes him look a mess, but he is living his life as he needs to live it, and if needs to have the pleasure of mud to cool his skin down, then so be it. The sheep have their 'down between the thighs of my neighbour' habit, and also their coats of wool. Max has his coat of mud, which, I think, also deters some of the biting insects, the dried mud acting as a barrier to the probe of the would be taker of the blood.
And Max is met. He is on the left. She is on the right. And she is big. So big, in fact, that she can go inside Max's hut and reposition it by lifting it on her back and re-siting it. Twice she has done this. The hut is very heavy. She is one strong girl.
And the battle begins. Well, not 'battle' really, just Max showing Tess that he is The Man and this is His Patch. Round and round he chases her. But no malice, just the need for Max The Man to show her that he is the boss.
And I fear that the campervan will never be quite the same again. But then we can't get it registered here anyway, so it may as well finish out its days as a workhorse. Who would have thought, when we first bought it ten years ago, back in the UK, that it would fetch up getting elderly on a small farm in France. Life is queer with its twists and turns, as no doubt the campervan said to itself as Tess looked out of its windows at the passing cars during her road trip.