We seem to have acquired, as Monty Python once put it, ‘that most dangerous of creatures, a clever sheep’. Presumably the one who organised the ‘King of the Castle’ game on the roof of their lovely straw igloo which caused them to go through it, and reduce the thing to a battered-looking haystack. We drove up to the house about sixish last night, only to find a huddle of guilty, scurrying lambs in the immediate vicinity of the vegetable garden. Fortunately, since they were bottle-fed, the beasts are relatively friendly: they are also exceedingly partial to their sheep-muesli, so I simply went and got a saucepan and filled it with their supplementary nosh and shook it invitingly: the result, a procession of delinquent little woollies all trying to get their noses into the saucepan as I strolled along in the general direction of their paddock. But as is usual with sheep and suchlike, something else caught their attention; suddenly five of them scattered off, and I found I only had one. This one I boosted over the fence, and filled their trough. The sight of Sheep One happily gorging drew the others as if by magic, and all of a sudden, the whole flock was crowding urgently up to the barbed wire trying to get in. One by one, the Northern Professor picked them up (being half grown they are still fairly portable) and dropped them over the fence. All but one; who suddenly jinked off, ran round a different way, and squeezed through the wire: clearly the only one who remembered how they had got out. You might say it wasn’t too bright of him/her to do it while we were looking but it’s still fairly Napoleonic for a sheep.
Transmission was interrupted at this point by the spectacle of a flurry of white bodies racing across the garden: Napoleon the Sheep had organised another break-out, from a different point this time. With the willing but wholly inept assistance of Mark the Squaddie, with infinite effort, the little bleeders were successfully returned to Stalag Sheep. I propose a new Olympic sport; sheep hurling. You catch one by the wool as it bullets past and throw it as far as you can. The defences have been strengthened (again). We’ll probably be down to Travis Perkins for searchlights and perimeter alarms by the end of the week.
10 PM. The sheep escaped again, despite the fact that the entire front length of fence, the bit they’ve been working on, has been reinforced with pig wire. Napoleon (now identified; second biggest with a blotchy face and medium sized horns) was once more seen purposefully trying to press down a bit of wire to create an escape hole. Moreover, as we checked the perimeter, burdened with wire, staples, hammers, secateurs, etc., as we passed a section hastily defended yesterday by a vertical weaving of bailer twine, there was Napoleon, purposefully gnawing at the nylon string trying to get it off. There is a number of Spanish delicacies involving baby lamb. We are considering this option. Can anyone think of an excuse for a really big midsummer party? We feel that without their noble & intrepid leader, the troops will be all over the place. Vide Napoleonic Wars, passim.