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Happy Halloween from France

Green pumpkins in front of a beautiful white chateau with black tiled towers, Loire Valley


I hope that you and yours are well.

Today is Halloween and I’m not sure we need to do anything this year for the occasion since I’ve been wearing a mask and eating sweets since March. However I have sorted bags of sweets for any kids that decide to brave the torrential rain to get to my door and wish me “Appy Alloween” on their allowed daily walk, since we are once again on lockdown.

Last week whilst out walking the dogs we came across a shaggy haired goat wandering along the road, feasting on the grassy verges. He took no notice of the dogs who ran up to him wagging their tails. He took no notice of me or Mark, my other half, either but gave us a rather dismissive glance and returned to his munching.

We guessed the escapee probably belonged to a neighbour in the village who keeps pygmy goats. The neighbour is very fond of his goats, I hear him sitting in his garden behind a high wooden fence, chatting away to them as they gently “baaa” back.

“You stay with him while I go and tell the neighbour” said Mark and he walked back down the narrow road that runs between two fields, the dogs bouncing along behind him.

The goat looked up and watched them go and then looked at me. Right in the eyes. It had quite a gleam. I gulped.

“I hope you’re not going to play up” I said, it raised an eyebrow and started to wander along the side of the field.

Thierry the farmer came by in his tractor and stopped when he saw me.

“Got a new dog?” he laughed.

Jean-Claude drove by in his little white van.

“Ah ah ah” he said (which is French for ha ha ha) when he saw me. “I see you have found Guillaume’s goat. Be careful he bites and butts” he snorted with laughter as he drove off.

I looked at the goat and he stared back then carried on wandering. By now we’d gone quite a long way from the village and I was worried he might make a run for the forest and never be seen again. When the goat had its head down, I slipped a dog lead over it. The goat looked up and narrowed its eyes.

“Come on” I said “Guillaume needs you to come home” and I tugged gently. The goat complied. But only for a second, then it dipped its head to the grass again.

“I’ve got a roof to finish you know” I said “we’re building a garage, it would really help me out if you’d come with me”, the goat started walking alongside me on the lead. Every time I spoke to it, the goat behaved. When I stopped he started wandering off, dragging me along with him. I walked the goat all the way back just in time to see Mark leave Guillaume’s house where he’d been persuaded to stop for a cup of coffee before anything else could happen. I handed over the wandering goat and it wished me good-baaa…

So if you happened to be in the 7 Valleys on Tuesday, and saw a small woman chatting non-stop to a small goat on a lead – it was probably me.

Wishing you and yours well.
Bisous from a goathherd

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pps no newsletter from me next week, it will be every other week for a while as I focus on the Christmas magazine which will be out in a few weeks’ time and is looking wonderful – I think you’ll really enjoy it (you can subscribe totally for free via this current issue).

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