Monday 27 April 2015

Dagging for Ireland

About 15 years ago our black&white (mostly white) cat disappeared one day and a strange but overly familiar black cat came to the door looking for food.  It turned out that our Snuggles had fallen into a vat of sump-oil on a neighboring farm and was in need of professional help. The vet declined to come out but said that Fairy Liquid was yer only man in such cases and we should give the cat a bath.  Apparently, this is what was found to be most effective for cleaning up sea-birds that were victim to an oil-spill. The remedy worked a treat and the cat lived on with us for another long number of years.

Yesterday The Beloved announced that those sheep which are outside the maternity ward (last year's lambs, empties and one pensioner), needed a) chiropody and b) dagging.  Chiropody is basically toe-nail clipping and you need a handy pair of really sharp secateurs to trim the nail back, especially if it is grown over the pad and/or is getting split ends.  The alternative is to take the flock for a gallop up and down a metalled road for a while in lieu of letting the sheep leap about from rock to rock. A life in a soft grassy paddock is not sufficient to keep the feet happy.  The other issue (problem) is having an issue (discharge, matter) from the cleft between the toes where a cut can easily go septic if your lifestyle entails walking through a lot of sheep-shit.

Dagging is what requires the Fairy Liquid especially if the sheep has been scouring recently when the soft dung can mostly be washed off with lots of soap and water. It's like washing your hair - you've got to get your fingers right in there and work in the soap and then give it all a good rinse with a hose.  It was lovely and sunny in the forenoon yesterday and I was just about to start in on this task when I took inspiration from Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon Tiki crew and discarded my socks, boots and dungarees. If I was going to get covered in wet sheep-shit, I thought it would be best to minimise the laundry list. I'm not as buff as Thor, Bengt or Knut were in 1947, but in my khaki shorts and a pair of Crocs I could have passed muster on the good ship Ewe Tiki. While TB held the front end, I got down and dirty at the other with a pair of old kitchen scissors to cut off the solid lumps and soap and hose for the wet stuff,  . Strangely enough the pregnant ewes seem much cleaner than the useless mouths. I was washing my hands for the rest of the day and have had two all-over showers but still smell of sheep.

Two vaguely related jokes:
1. Young feller from The North comes back from college in The South raving about The Dubliners.  Uncle who has seen them on the TV "That Ronnie Drew and Luke Kelly, they look like a pair of sheep's arses."
2. The great thing about using beer shampoo is that the hair is already half cut.

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