The young shepherd at the farm on the M62 has his work cut out with Dottie the lamb getting her head through the fencing

Heading home one evening, I watched in amazement as great black thunderclouds loomed in the unsettled sky above.

John William is keeping busy on the farm this week

As I drove towards Stott Hall, some fields and roadside verges were still dry, shafts of sunlight penetrating the ever increasing storm clouds, whilst the neighbouring valleys were subjected to deluges of rain.

By the time I’d reached our gates, my windscreen wipers were going full throttle as giant raindrops pelted my car. A river of gravel surged down the drive, an ever increasing mound of the surface of our drive coming to a rest as it hit the grass at the bottom. The underpass was all but washed away.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The sudden cloudburst had gorged great rivulets in the track, the grate at the top of the underpass, completely blocked, water foaming and bubbling around the edges. I sat in my car outside the house, watching the sheep in the fields jostling for the driest patch of shelter.

The little croft next to the house was empty, John-William’s pet lambs had beat a hasty retreat back into the barn when the heavens opened. All bar one had made it back inside. Dottie, a tiny little Woodland gimmer lamb was in her usual position, head firmly thrust through the fence, her horns holding her fast. She’d eaten all the verge grass she could reach and was stood forlornly, watching the traffic crawling past in the miserable conditions.

I waited for a lull in the rain before I ventured out from the cosy interior of my car and not for the first time that week, released Dottie from the fence. The following morning broke bright and dry and Dottie was in her usual stance, head through the highway fence, pushing forward, desperate to reach the long verge grass.

Yet again I freed her, but by the time I’d filled up their corn trough, she was back through. Thankfully, our mini shepherd was up and already sorting the problem.

He came staggering across the croft, arms heavily laden with electric fence posts and wire. Stubbornly refusing help, he spent the next few hours erecting an electric fence, determined to stop Dottie’s antics. Immensely pleased with himself, he wheeled his bike out of the shippon and went hurtling off down the lane.

A short time later, we heard a piercing shriek and rushed out to find him lying in the yard with his bike, amidst a pile of old tyres and planks of wood. Some of the tyres were still piled up, reaching six high with half a sheet of plywood balanced precariously against them.

The makeshift ramp was ambitious to say the least and clearly had proved a step too far for our little stunt rider. We lifted him out from under some of the toppled tyres, amidst sobs and insisting pleas of “I can do it, let me try again”. He lifted his shirt to reveal a great angry red graze across his hip. The tears soon stopped and he headed off to check his electric fence.

I wonder how on earth our little livewire will cope with the confines of a classroom next week.

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today.

Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you'll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers.

So, please - if you can - pay for our work. Just £5 per month is the starting point. If you think that which we are trying to achieve is worth more, you can pay us what you think we are worth. By doing so, you will be investing in something that is becoming increasingly rare. Independent journalism that cares less about right and left and more about right and wrong. Journalism you can trust.

Thank you

James Mitchinson