Every day I walk the dogs around the hills and dales that make up the Seven Valleys where I live. On account of the fact that I am able to resist anything but temptation in the form of cakes, wine, cheese, bread, chocolate and a few more things, I’ve had to up my exercise this year. I walk for about two hours a day now and it’s meant I see more of the locals and more wildlife than ever. Deer, wild pigs, hedgehogs, moles, Lady Amherst’s pheasants (no she’s not a local but that’s what the colourful birds are called!), rabbits and hares galore have crossed my path this week. The dogs thankfully have little or no chance of catching them as they streak across the fields and up and down the hills. They did though catch something. Sort of.
We set off for our walk, out through the main street of the village (don’t get excited, only 18 houses!), up a small hill past a tiny private chapel where the road branches off. One way leads to the fields, the other to a small alley with a couple of tiny cottages. We always go to the fields. The dogs know this, they never deviate. Except one day this week they did. They all ran down the alley barking excitedly.
Shouting at them didn’t get a result so off I trundled in hot pursuit only to find myself confronted by a very large cow in the front garden of one of the cottages. The dogs were thrilled at their discovery. The cow wasn’t remotely bothered at the attention and after dismissing us all as dull, carried on eating the flowers in the garden. A pepper pot sized old lady came out of the house “Merde” she said when she saw the huge beast munching away. She disappeared back into the house, came out with length of rope, tied it round the cows neck and tried to pull it off her flowers. It wasn’t moving.
“Bonjour Madame” I called “can we help?” She beckoned us in and me and Mark (my other half) pushed and pulled. A cow is not unlike an elephant I discovered. Madame Pepper Pot’s husband came out – he was tiny too. They both pulled, we both pushed, the cow got the hump and started mooing. The dogs love this and started barking and howling. That did it. The cow looked up from its floral feast and blinked, we seized our chance, heaved hard, the Pepper Pots pulled and the cow lurched forward. When we got it back into the field behind the cottage where it had evidently escaped from (photo above), Madame Pepper Pot gave us a litre of fresh cows milk as a thank you – of course we shared it with the dogs – it was teamwork after all!
Wishing you a very bon weekend,
Bisous from the wild west of France
ps Congratulations to Christopher Hicks – the winner of a holiday for 4 in France with Lagrange. I’m sorry if you didn’t win, but watch this space as we have another holiday give away coming up shortly!
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