September has been a busy month here at Animal Antiks, we've said some goodbyes and a lot of welcome backs, along with a few new hellos.
Firstly at the beginning of the month we said goodbye to our transitional students from the summer holidays - we had a lot of fun with them over the summer, from fabulous Ferrari wheelbarrow racing to the muck heap, catching and bathing little ponies and making unicorns to pygmy goat walking.
We also said a sad goodbye to our lovely volunteer Kate, who has been amazing whilst she has been with us - no matter what was thrown at her she came out tops.......... Good luck Kate with your new job, we know you'll be a huge asset and the children at the nursery will love you as much as our guys have. You'll welcome to come back and visit anytime, although not too sure about the Nativity idea at the moment........................... Working with children and animals and all that - although one of the stable blocks is looking like "that Christmas play thing that little kids do" as was so charmingly said by one of the students this week, with the 2 pygmy goats, 2 sheep and 3 alpacas camping out in there out of the rain. But that does give me scope to work on getting a Donkey or 2!!!
Lastly our final goodbye was to Smelly Clive the Billy Goat, after a three and a half hours cross country chase involving 6 humans, 2 dogs, a quad bike and huge amount of food he had to surrender in the neighbouring farms pig slurry. Whilst partaking in this new sport on a Sunday lunchtime, I'm sure we gave no end of amusement to the ladies and dogs at dog agility, although Bella and the borrowed sheepdog were superbly behaved and didn't let the side down. Clive on the other hand was having the time of his life as he led us through hedges which he cleared with ease and grace and watched as we stumbled fell, got hawthorns stuck in our bottoms and legs, he jumped over fences into the stream, where we landed filling our wellie boots with water and scrambled up the banks only to find him back in the field having jumped back across the stream, watching us and catching his breath for his next trick. No-one could stop laughing as one of us steered the quad bike around the field chasing him, whilst another sat on the front trying to lassoo him around his horns or by this time, any part of his antomy, as he played with us, dodging in and out of the ponies and alpacas only to jump into a hedge and look at us smirking practically saying "Whatever". When Clive was finally surrounded with us all ankle deep in foul smelling, slimy pig slurry, it was the wonderful Emily who braved falling face first in the festering slime to grab him by his magnificent horns and get the lassoo around him. Clive insisted on leaving his mark literally on me before leaving to start a new life with a selection of nannies to keep happy, by head-butting me and leaving me a bruise in the shape of his horn, as he got into the van.
Our hello's and welcome backs came in a variety of gods creatures..........
Importantly, welcome back to lots of our students from last year, even a group we haven't seen for a while, great to be back working with all of them.
As we lost Kate, SJ returned back to the farm, with her horses Plod, Hector, Alfie and Albert along with her 2 dogs Pheobie and Jess. Alfie and Albert are back with their little buddies, Topper, Ricky and Woody and Miles now has a horse that coloured like him - very confusing for him.
Also as we waved goodbye to Smelly Clive, we said hello to Tri-pod and Jakey-Peg, our 2 lambs, little Tripod was born with only 3 legs and Jakey-Peg broke his leg early on in his life and it never healed properly, resulting in him losing a part of it - both now hanging out in the field with Dumb & Dumber and the Alpacas, we've had some amusement over the battle of the shelter, with the pygmy thugs acting like bouncers at the door, but all settled and calm now.
We also welcomed several more chickens after moving our chicken run - we bought 8 new hybrid chickens in various shapes and sizes to add to the flock, who obviously had never had to climb a ramp to go to bed and we spent the first 4 days catching them and putting them to bed - even found them roosting in the trees on the first night - then little Petunia moved into our world, she has also lost a limb somewhere in her life, she's now living the single life in the avery - cooing away very contentedly and producing eggs daily as she watches our other chickens squabble they way through each day.
As we move into October, the days are getting shorter and the weather will be on the turn, we'll look forward to some mud skiing over the next few months I'm sure.