I managed to get the herd back into Hoo Brook Pasture yesterday, without having to call in the Rangers to help out, following the teenager incident on Tuesday night; it took me three days to do it though. When the cattle slipped out of the corral for their early morning drink in Hoo Brook Corridor, I slipped in and closed the gate on them – as simple as that!
I tried many things to entice them back into Hoo Brook Pasture, but the cattle are not stupid and were well aware of what I was trying to do. For once, the herd held the upper hand and ran rings around me – literally! It was inevitable, though, that I would overcome in the end.
I was cutting thistles in Hoo Brook Pasture yesterday, with two other Wilden Marshers, in baking heat. The cattle walked silently past us and hid out of sight in amongst the trees, at the east end of the pasture, and we saw neither hide nor hair of them all day. The presence of two strangers unsettled them. After a hard day’s work slashing thistles, we walked out of the pasture, up the ramp, and into the corral. As soon as the cattle heard the corral gate being locked they appeared, excitedly mooing and bellowing, to reclaim their ground. The teenager incident has certainly affected them. When I am working the pasture on my own, the cattle are usually milling around and getting in the way. Cattle are not the dumb animals some people make them out to be, and they should not be treated as such. When working around cattle for any length of time, it soon becomes apparent that they have admirable sensibilities, and deep feelings for others of their herd. I think cattle react depending on how they are treated. Cattle have friendships, they groom each other, they have their special ways of doing things, and they are creatures of habit. All the marsh cattle are sensitive to me – I don’t think I have enemies within the herd. Waynetta is particularly protective of me, as she is of the calves.
Once again, harmony reigns on the north marsh.