The Marans, I think, were just shouting through to the rooster in the other house but going out there I could see 6 baby bunnies all over the orchard. I had done it again - placing the run neatly over a dint in the ground which gave them an easy, pre-dug duck-under the woodwork and a night of happy free ranging. 3 quickly sprinted back to the dent and dived back into their run and I caught 2 more by hand. The 6th escapee got wise by then and headed for the car port where he took up residence under the water tank and we named him Steve McQueen. We'd worry about him later.
The geese decided they were not coming out to play today and dithered, brainlessly, in their house giving me ten minutes of whistling and encouraging them, tossing them a bit of rolled barley till I got fed up and went round the back to shoo them out.
Main event today was a visit from Sparks, Mrs Sparks and Cotcho-Small (6) who we'd thought were staying over night. We had to whizz the 2CV into the garage for its NCT work and do a quick shop in which Liz managed to explode 2 big fizzy water bottles inside the car. On a day like today this hardly even made the back pages. I also needed more sticky tape to repair a new hole in the poly tunnel, torn, presumably by the same cat (Blue?) as last time.
For a bit of fun we'd made up a Job List for Cotcho-Small (C-S) which we'd deliberately written in a jokey confusing way. "Smelly Goose Poo Soup 1", "Smelly Goose Poo Soup 2", "Catch Steve McQueen", "Make Snot" and so on. As we went through the day he was to discover what these were. The 'Poo Soups' were cleaning out goose baths, Steve McQ was, of course, the rabbit, and Make Snot was helping Liz in the kitchen pounding garlic in the pestle and mortar which, if anyone has done this, will know what "pound the garlic to snot" means. C-S is like any other intelligent, fit, energetic 6 year old boy let loose on a 'farm'. He's Go Go Go! all day and wears us out but he is great gas and will spend hours peering under a water tank thinking he can tempt a baby bunny out by yelling Steve! at it and chucking lettuce in.
Meanwhile, Mentor Anne arrived with Simon, Simon clutching a tub of chick crumb and the egg candler. No, they said, they did not have any sheep in the van (!). Liz meanwhile went onto the internet chat areas and asked did anyone have any ideas for fun names for 3 sheepy ladies and got a storm of brilliant ones including "Kebab, Moussaka and Biryani", "Blodwen, Bronwen and Branwen", "Una, Agnes and Baby", "PETA, Pauline and Mary", "Hopeless, Feckless and Pointless". The 'Baby' one pointed out the potential for a future filled with "No-one puts Baby in a Korma" jokes. Simon and I took C-S off to candle the eggs and were delighted to see live, wriggling babies inside the shells, but concerned as to why they had not started to 'pip' along with their same-age 'brothers and sisters'. Anne is just delighted that yet another batch of her call ducks are showing this amazingly high (90-100%) fertility rate. It rarely happens.
So, the guests all left and it all went deliciously quiet. Steve McQueen was still at large but everyone had survived. And so to bed planning a lovely relaxed Tuesday with no dramas to upset the day. A bit alarming then at 06:30 to go out and straightway hear from the baa-ing that all was not as it should be in the sheep. They sounded too far off to be in our field and too spread out to all be in the same place. There was a lot of excited mooing from the grazing rent cattle. Oh, as they say, My God.