Time to groom the Highland cattle on Shaun McKenna’s farm

It's grooming time for Shaun McKenna's Highland cattle.
It's grooming time for Shaun McKenna's Highland cattle.
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I’d been waiting for some reasonable weather to arrive around these parts, in order for me to crack on and get one specific job underway. I didn’t want the rain, because working with soggy, is never any good and I didn’t want windy either, as it plays havoc with my hay fever.

The job in question was grooming the cows. If I’m honest it would definitely be competing for the top spot in my most favourite jobs league, if there was such a thing. It’s a total pleasure working with the Highland cows and almost every day I think how lucky I am to be around such majestic creatures.

Monica was definitely in one of her moods, not that she was being awkward or unruly, but all of the attention is what she was after.

Anyway, with cow comb in hand, I proceeded to enter their field, attempting to make as little fuss as possible. You see, if I can get in and start grooming one of them before the others notice, it makes life a whole lot easier, as they aren’t then jostling to be first in line, but today wasn’t one of those days.

Before I’d even taken a couple of steps into the field, Flora had eyeballed me, sounded the charge and then they all made haste and galloped over to me. Well, all except Monica of course, because as I have mentioned before, she doesn’t do anything with haste. The funny thing is that she may be last to arrive on the scene, but she always insists on being the first to be pampered.

So, no matter how excited the others may be or how impatient they are to receive the attention, the pecking order dictates that her ladyship is first in line, every time. I have at times attempted to groom others before her, but she ensures one way or another that things don’t go to plan.

On this day in question, Monica was definitely in one of her moods, not that she was being awkward or unruly, but all of the attention is what she was after. Once I had groomed her from head to toe, not once, but twice she was still in the mood for more and with her enormous horns, she would just turn her head attempting to hook the horn around me to bring me back to comb that one place I’d missed.

In the end I escorted her out of the field, in order that I could give some quality time to the others and ensure they were looking their best too. Thankfully, they looked fantastic afterwards, all but a couple of knots which I still need to take out of Lyndsey’s coat, but she was getting a little restless towards the end of the pamper session and so I thought it best to just leave her in peace until next time.

Although spring appears to have been struggling to really make any headway over recent weeks, I think it has definitely now sprung on Long Meadow Farm. As I walked in almost darkness across the farmyard I could hear one of those sounds that to me says, spring has arrived.

The frog (and toad) chorus were in full voice and as the beam of light from my head torch, hit the surface of the water, the amphibious world beneath me came to a standstill, in an instant everything went quiet. The mass of creatures which had been chilling on the top of the weed had either disappeared into the depths or were just holding their breath.

After holding my own breath for a few moments, slowly they returned, appearing one by one on the surface of the water. Just beautiful!