Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Lester rides the ram

'Twas an error of judgment that Jacob the ram made, a  bad error of judgment. For he took it unto himself to do battle yet again with Hubs / Head Shepherd, and this time Hubs was ready, saw the battle tactics of Jacob, saw him backing up a few steps ready to get the momentum for a charge going. 

It was the morning of the day. Elise (our young heifer), the goats, the sheep, the ram, they had come from the Paddock and gone into the field. Elise had lingered in the ditch they have to cross though. Sometimes she does this, lingers just before she is supposed to enter gate. This is a habit which has only just started. I suppose that now she has been with us for two weeks she is starting to find her own personality, bless her. 

So Hubs was putting down little piles of maize, dotting it here and there so everyone could have a nibble. He does this to encourage the animals to follow him, to reward them, to train them into going where he goes. This is especially important for the newcomers who are still getting to know us, and not so important for the sheep who know us already. Anyway, they don't mind that they don't get hardly any maize. At the moment most of them gallop round the field on acorn hunts. 

But not Jacob, who sees it as his right to do what he wants to do, barge who he wants to barge, head butt any heads which are at butting height, and generally act as boss of operations. He even has barged Lester, head butting him from the rear when Lester is not looking. Often times of late, Lester / Hubs / Head Shepherd has complained about Jacob's attitude, even threatening to recycle him into the freezer should the behaviour get worse. Of course Hubs does not mean this. After all, Jacob has been super duper efficient at fathering lambs. So what to do....... 

And it came to this certain morning, the sheep were off under the oak trees, the goats and Elise were eating the maize, and Jacob was in a fury because he couldn't get the food. So he backed up, arrogant, with high head, all one bundle of male fury. He bunched himself up. Charged forward. Towards Lester he went as fast as his legs could carry him. Wham! Ah but no, the wham didn't happen because Lester side stepped away. Jacob kept going, unable to spin round in a tight circle until he had slowed down. 

It was not finished, oh no. Jacob wanted that maize, wanted to show Lester who was boss. Showdown time. 

He bunched himself up again. Lester was ready. Springing forward, Jacob went into his charge. "Ah but what was this that had happened. What was this thing that was on my back." For Lester had caught hold of Jacob as he charged, grabbed him by the horns, and was using those horns as bicycle handle bars as he sat on Jacob's back and rode him like a rodeo man on top of a bucking bull. 

This way and that way Jacob pranced.....

And here I must stop for a moment and explain to you that I wasn't a witness to this battle, and that this is what Lester has said happened. It may, or may not, have been embellished. 

......and Lester held on meanwhile. The Jacobs's back legs collapsed. Lester kept astride him but stood on his own two feet, still with his hands gripping the horns. Jacob rose up again. Off they went, Lester now riding him again. Down Jacob went, splay legged upon the ground, all effort spent. Lester went down with him, turning Jacob's head so they were eyeball to eyeball with each other. They stared each other down. Jacob wilted. Lester had won. 

It must be a rough world, that of being a male, full of battle as to who will be the conqueror, whether it be with others of the same or different species. 

Jacob has felt the power of Hubs and is no longer quite so arrogant. Hopefully there will be no more head butting. 

No cockerel crows again this morning, and Orpy's comb has gone a very deep purple colour. 

Our two male geese are getting very friendly with the newly arrived girls. This they do  in the little black water trough, their proper pond not having been made yet. It is all a bit of a squash in that trough, and I feel for the girl goose who is underneath the weight of one, sometimes two, male geese. Mostly they end up in a tangle of bodies. I don't think the boys have managed to do a proper job yet. For the first time I saw a male goose's thingy as one tipped himself upside down as he went on his quest of creation. Fascinating.


Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Oh if only you had of been there with the camera...... Take care Diane

Vera said...

Diane, me to! Would love to have caught in on camera!

rosaria williams said...

Fascinating! I had no idea how dangerous this raising lambs can be! Keep the freezer option open, I say, or Hubby will grow old before his time.

Horst in Edmonton said...

Vera, let's hope Lester doesn't get attacked from behind any more.
I once saw a cow go after our male goat, the goat won. He went on his hind legs then came down and hit the cow right between the eyes and the cow collapsed on to her knees. The fight was over, the goat got some respect. Size doesn't always win. Love your story today.

Tim said...

Vera, can you separate Orpy off for a while from all the other birds... that will give him time to recover... if that's all he needs!
Bonne chance Orpy.

Vera said...

Rosaria, we have no probs with the lambs, it is the sheep who begets them that is the problem! I don't think that Hubby will grow old before his time looking after the sheep, but he would have most definitely got old very fast if he was still having to grapple with our old UK lifestyle!

Horst, the ram is giving Lester a wide berth at the moment, but Lester is keeping a watchful eye on him. Glad you liked the post.

Tim, we have thought about separating him, but we have no proper accommodation for him at the moment, so he will have to stay with his girls. Apparently he might have a bad heart, and that is why his comb changes colour. It goes from bright red to dark purple and back again during the day.

Jean said...

Hi Vera, I am just catching up after a long absence. Actually we were away on holiday and have now been back for two weeks but I always save your blog until when I have time to sit down and luxuriate in it.

Just going to put the kettle on.

Love the story of Lester and the ram. What a shame males have to be so....like that. For every winner there is one who suffers ignominious defeat. Why can't they be more....like us !!