Animals Big and Small

I haven’t given an update on the kittens in a while. They are now 5 weeks old, and utterly gorgeous. All of them have blue eyes at the moment, 3 are black, 2 are tabby, and their names are Liebschen, Tommy, Lexi, Lex and the final one remains nameless. We’ve moved them from the laundry to the porch, and they are being kept in a little pen which has been created by my fireplace grate and the wall. Though, they proved this evening that they can climb right over the top of it when hungry, and there is the hope of food on the other side of the grate. My eldest girl continues to find new & interesting ways to carry them about, sometimes in her doll’s buggy, in her easter egg basket, in a paper shopping bag, clinging to the front of her school uniform etc.

Lexi… or Lex…

I went for a walk this evening in the sunshine, which lasts and lasts (its now 10pm and the sun won’t go down properly for another half hour), and I was amazed at how much the countryside changes in Ireland with the seasons, which I’ve not noticed as much in Australia. I don’t know if this is, as people have often scoffed, Australia doesn’t have 4 seasons, or its because I live in the city, but its pretty spectacular here. Walking through areas that I walked through only a couple of months ago, it was like a new place entirely. Some paddocks that were completely flat a month or two ago, now have grass that is as high as my shoulder.
These paddocks now have many large animals in them, such as horses, cows and bulls. I’m a fan of these animals, they lend a real authenticity to the countryside and my experience as a ‘country girl’, but, I generally like there to be some sort of heavy fence in between me and the large animals. Either that, or like the animals to be running away from me in fear.
None of the animals this evening felt the need to do this.
This meant, in order to not be kicked in the stomach by the back feet of a horse (heavens knows why I thought a fairly docile horse, quietly and happily munching on grass was going to suddenly bolt and kick me in the stomach is something that I can’t quite explain now that I’m at home, sitting on a nice couch and watching the TV, but it must be an image I’ve seen in a film or TV show somewhere), I was wading through the shoulder high grass, being stung by nettles and ripped apart by brambles, whilst the horses gave me blank and confused looks over their grass dinner. The one comfort was that every time I went, ‘Jesus, what about the snakes???’ I was able to send a quick and grateful prayer to St. Patrick. ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you St. Patrick for ridding snakes from a country with exceedingly long grasses.’
Just to give me a bigger fright and prove how ill-suited I am, despite my fantasies, to living on a farm, three of the horses decided to trot towards me, which, in hindsight, was probably because they thought I was the farmer and had a juicy carrot or block of sugar to give them (that’s what people feed horses in movies, isn’t it?), but when you’re on your lonesome, being chased around a tree by 3 large horses in an open field, all you can really think of is the stampede scene in ‘The Lion King’. Well, that’s all I could think of anyway.
There were a couple of bulls that I also ran into (and when I say, ‘ran into’, I mean, I was in the same field as, though if I were to hold out my thumb, and closed one eye, I would probably have been able to cover up all the bulls with just the tip of it….. that is to say, there was a fair distance between me and them), and whilst, again, they seemed more interested in their grass than me, I still decided to walk on the other side of the barbed wire to them, which required a sort of tightrope act with the river bank, and some strange looks from the locals on the other side. I don’t care. At least I didn’t have my insides gouged by a bull’s horn. 

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Filed under Ireland, NYWM

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