Saturday, 19 April 2008

Secrets of Animal Husbandry

There are things in the world of smallholding that you find yourself doing or accepting that had someone explained to you before you took on the farm you might have questioned or dare I say baulked at the idea.

For example your tolerance for dirt increases, whats the point of clean trousers when you are likely to be kneeling in one of nine forms of excrement that morning as you attend to one of your beasts or birds. You accept extremes of temperature and weather, bravely trudging along the lane carrying vital supplies to starving animals in blizzards, hurricanes, hail storms, torrential rain, biting northerly winds and very occasionally hot sunny days.

You get used to being tired, having a full time job and then working full time on the farm does take it out of you and it is a battle now and then to get out of your warm armchair in front of the wooodburner, leaving your nice cup of hot chocolate, beautiful wife and loyal Bernese Mountain Dog who seconds before you moved was lying at your feet looking adoringly into your eyes promising to defend you to the death should the need arise and who is now cowering under the kitchen table as you don your sou'wester and cheerily give the "Come on Rocky" the signal that he should join you on your epic trek to round up the geese for the night who will invariably scatter when your torchlight appears and be all over the place like a mad woman's shit rather than snuggled up in the goose house safe from predators and the elements, you get used to that sinking feeling as you stand by the door looking at the dog looking at you giving the "Are you mental, I've seen the weather mate I'm staying in here where its warm" signals, and you know full well that you are about to go out alone.

There are lots of things you get used to, and there are lots of things about animal husbandry you are never told.

For example, if you knew that goats climbed like monkeys you might reconsider having one, or two as we do. If you knew they eat everything other than what they are supposed to eat you would probably invest heavily in electrified fencing, the type capable of keeping King Kong away from your precious garden and fruit bushes and trees.

Any new animal at the Rock means a steep learning curve for the human residents, the type of learning curve NASA uses to launch rockets.

So no one told me, no one ever mentioned what I found myself doing whilst standing in the evening sunshine at Rock HQ. Had they done so I, without fear of contradiction, would have told them to "Sod that for a game of soldiers" or perhaps similar sentiment expressed in fewer words, mostly of four letters and undoubtedly one at least beginning with the letter f.

I was involved in a task that still makes me shudder at the thought and my brain now contains images that are most unpleasant. The worst thing is we have to do this again, several times a year for the rest of our lives, or for as long as we have a male horse.

We have to clean Williams penis.

With a special lotion purchased form the equine equivalent of Ann Summers, the instructions for use are enough to put you off your dinner, yet alone the process. Apparently the horses thingy gets covered in dirt and when it withdraws back into the sheath it drags this dirt inside which over time converts into a black tar like substance called Smegma, the name alone is conveys terror, this Smegma hardens and can crack (OH please God no more) creating razor sharp edges which cut the poor horses widgey (How have they survived this long!) and create an infection which in extreme cases makes your pony very poorly and need the vet.

Not wanting to be the owner of Mattel's diseased dick my little pony we had to take action. Warning signs were there that there might be a problem as Williams sheath had fly bites on it so perhaps his todger wasn't smelling so good. Smell is another aspect of smallholding you get very used to, there are some ripe smells around animals, particularly goats when they backfire.

So armed with buckets of warm water, sponges and pony love potion we fetched William to be cleansed. He stood quietly, gently munching his hay from the net while Tracey and I considered how to go about this task. With one of us on either side of William we bent down and inspected his John Thomas, it was, as mine would be if this was going to happen, hiding. It had to be coaxed out. I knew I would never be the same after this evening.

The guidance on the potion said an ideal time to lasso his willy to clean it was when he had a wee. Anyone witnessing a horse taking a leak and the gallons they produce would know that this is not the time to be anywhere near without total waterproof protection. Ben tells a story of the horse at Sandhurst, Warrior, who on the Commandants parade in a a very high wind took a leak which instantly vapourised and the pissy mist landed on the wives and daughters of the senior officers who were all dressed in their best.

There had to be a different way to coax it out. Tracy gave it a quick rub, I really didn't know where to look or what to feel as I was dragged into what seemed like an equine threesome. As I watched her trying to provoke a reaction from the flacid horse I suffered a curious mixture of feelings, revulsion, envy, bordering on jealousy. My wife's hand action prompted no response so with the words "Cover me, I'm going in" or similar Tracey put her hand, suitably oiled, inside Williams foreskin.

The next few seconds passed in a blur. William definitely reacted, his eyes bulged, he almost choked on the hay and quite possibly the wax shot out of his ears as well.

Tracey triumphantly waved under my nose a lump of evil smelling black stuff clutched in her lubricated digits. She dropped it on the floor and I looked away as she reached in for a second handful. William was to my mind showing to many signs he was enjoying this and was definately giving me leery looks. Not wanting to ruin the moment for them both I looked out across the Radnor hills and found somewhere safe in the sunset to park my shattered mind.

Animal husbandry couldn't get any worse than this.

As usual I was wrong.

Pip the collie was sat watching the show. She is a strange dog with severe attachment disorder and behavioural problems.

She ran over and sat under William.

She ate the Smegma.

Find somewhere safe.

1 comment:

SkippyMom said...

It is the early AM here in the US....and I was going to wait until I finished your whole blog before posting how much I havecompletely enjoyed it [IT IS GREAT!!!!!!]

But? I just woke up the my entire family [kids, hubby, dogs, bird!] laughing and falling off the chair....gosh, thank YOU. This has to be one of the funniest things I have ever read - Although I feel for poor Tracey and you having to watch...

My day, it just...uh seems so MUCH better now. Really, thanks from the US - you have a new - HUGE fan!