Whilst we were house sitting for our friends in Dunkeld we found ourselves living next door to a family with an even larger zoo than ours. The neighbour’s menagerie held a deep fascination for Storm our new Kelpie pup especially their enormous stroppy turkey who we nicknamed “Christmas”. Christmas is quite the ugliest looking fowl you have ever seen and standing at least 4ft high. His home is a large tin water tank turned on its side with a perch on the front where he sleeps.
Every morning in the early gloom of dawn I took all four dogs for a walk. Walking past Christmas’s house, I usually managed to distract Storm from her obsession with turkey’s leaving Christmas to snooze on, undisturbed on his perch. Except for this particular Wednesday morning. Storm could bear it no longer and chased poor Christmas off his perch, over the fence and across the road to the Footy Oval. There was a hell of a commotion with me yelling at Storm who was barking at Christmas who was making frantic gobbledy gobbledy hoots and our three other dogs on the verge of giving chase as well. Christmas made it to the Footy Oval fence where he got stuck.
Making my way through Christmas’s huge flapping wings bravely ignoring his ear splitting protestations I extracted him from the fence. However in my haste I made the huge mistake of not securing Storm first. Now free from the fence Christmas took off across the football pitch at high speed with Storm flat out after him. I set after them as fast as my be-wellied legs would carry me yelling like a banshee, the din would have been enough to wake the entire population of the normally peaceful Dunkeld .
It was still not quite light enough to see very far ahead and by the time I reached the other side of the footy pitch there was no sign of Christmas or Storm. I grabbed my phone from my pocket and called the Kiwi. He was not amused, in fact there was a complete sense of humour failure.
I yelled and yelled for Storm but of course she was far too busy thinking she was in for an early Christmas dinner. I could hear her barking and it seemed to be coming from the Football ground’s public conveniences. As I got closer to the noise I realised that the barking was coming from the Ladies Loos. I ventured in and found that Storm had cornered her prey in the far end cubicle. On closer inspection I found Christmas perched on the cistern with Storm trying her hardest to jump up onto the loo seat in order to get at the poor panic stricken turkey. Thankfully Storm was finding the loo pan rather an “inconvenience” as she couldn’t get a purchase on the shiny slippery seat without falling down the pan.
The long and short of it was that Christmas lived on to gobble another day and Storm stays firmly on the lead until we have passed any temptation for a return match. I suppose Storm was only living up to her namesake “Stormy Daniels” who is also known to chase large turkeys.
For the gazillionth time we were on the move again only this time it was into our own home. Over the course of a long weekend we shifted out of our house sitting arrangement and moved just some of our gear out of our storage containers and into our new Shangri La.
We are absolutely thrilled with our new abode which is set in 10 acres of beautiful gum trees and pasture with a large lake which has been named as “Lake Camilla”. It’s as if Capability Brown went to Australia. The house is modern and open plan and from above resembles a boomerang with a central living area with two bedroom wings. It’s small but perfectly formed and will suit us very well. Situated on the outskirts of Hamilton, I find that I can get home at lunchtime to let the girls out and it’s a joy to be able to have my lunch sitting on the verandah looking out onto our small patch of Australia.
It was not just us moving home but the zoo was coming with us too. Fearing that Phil the gargantuan sheep, his six girlfriends and Friday the calf might dig their toes in and refuse to budge from their current home worried us no end, added to which we didn’t have access to the necessary stock loading ramp to get them all onto a trailer. In the end we needn’t have stressed. We hired a small trailer with a crate, backed it up to the gate and made a corral from some wire mesh.
I called Phil and the girls over to the trailer enticing them with a bucket of Friday’s muesli. The temptation of some muesli sprinkled on the floor of the trailer was hard to ignore and our little flock hopped aboard without hesitation. The next problem was how to get Friday loaded. Friday is a dear girl but she has grown quite feisty and has the tendency to buck. Lucky for us she is also very nosey and couldn’t resist trotting over to see what was going on. Somehow she just knew that if she didn’t jump aboard the little trailer she would be left behind and with very little persuasion from me she did just that.
By now the weather had turned foul with the rain coming down in sideways torrents. We couldn’t bear to think of our precious flock being buffeted by the wind and rain on their 25kms journey to their new home so the Kiwi secure a “tarp” over them and we set off for pastures new.
Most Australians would have thought us barking mad as by now we had on board, 7 sheep, a cow, four dogs, five chickens and two homo sapiens.
Meanwhile I’ve been enjoying my new job at the law practice with my role having been changed from Receptionist to Accounts Manager. Working full time has its challenges but now that I can get home at lunchtime the domestic wheels may be able to keep turning unhindered if only it wasn’t for my long held obsession with the soap Neighbours. I use my lunch hour to catch up on the latest episode, how sad am I.