Slowly Dougal walks behind the bench Sara and I are sitting on. His big brown sheep eyes are looking at me. I can almost see the question marks in them; what about me? Don’t I get anything? Carefully to not let the others spot it, I fill the saucer with food and keep it under his nose. He leans his head sideways and cleans the plate in no time.
Beccy already announced it: “Dougal will eat on his own. Not at the table with the rest of them”. The way he does it is almost dignified. Especially compared to the rest, who just gorge the food away and clean the table in the process.
One thing is clear, a high tea with naughty sheep is almost as fun for the sheep as it is for us.
Keep pushing me
Where I try to give Dougal his portion with my left hand, Fergus keeps pushing against my right elbow. Dougal may be the boss, and the most sophisticated one of the herd, Fergus is clearly the most hungry one. And when I don’t open the tin quick enough to take new food out, he tries to grab it himself, by almost pulling the tin off the table.
In the meantime Harrison is all over Sara. Beccy calls him the socially awkward one of the naughty sheep, but it looks like today he found a friend, because he cleans plate after plate out of Sara’s hands.
Okay, sometimes he turns around and looks at the other table to see if there is some food for him as well, but as soon as he hears Sara opening the tin, he is beside her again, with his big, creamy head almost in her lap.
When all the food is really gone, Dougal walks away from the bench and over to the corner, where he starts to graze. The rest of the herd follow the leader. It gives us the time to eat all the freshly baked cakes, muffins and scones Beccy has prepared for us.
When we’re finished she has a little surprise for us. In the barn are two little lambs and they are hungry as well, she announces with a big smile, holding up two big baby bottles.
As soon as Sara sits down and has won the trust of the little ones, she gets handed the bottle, with already a lurking little lamb on it. The little one sucks so hard on it, Sara has to hold the bottle with two hands.
When it’s empty he keeps coming back for more. But when he realizes there is really nothing left, he settles for a nice scratch on the back, grinding his teeth from pleasure. We scratch a little bit more, before it is time for the little ones to join the herd and for us to leave the naughty sheep and start walking back to Gartmore.
Beccy advises us to take a little detour, through Wee Wood. It turns out to be another fairy-tale forest with big trees, covered in moss, little water streams with mini waterfalls and muddy paths.
The stroll is a nice way to loosen up my legs, after my morning run up to Ben Gullipen. But that’s a whole other story. One for another day.