Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mrs. Tiggywinkle Has a Visitor

If you know your Beatrix Potter, you'll recognize the name Mrs. Tiggywinkle.  Mrs. Tiggywinkle was the washerwoman hedgehog in the 1905 book The Tale of Mrs. Tiggywinkle.  In the book a little girl named Lucie loses her handkerchiefs, goes looking for them, and ends up at the house of kindly Mrs. Tiggywinkle, who has washed and ironed the handkerchiefs.  (You can see where our Mrs. Tiggywinkle got her name, since her sire is Woodmagic Hedgehog III.  I can't take credit for the name, though.  That goes to her breeder, Kim Newswanger of Hope Refuge Farm.)

Yesterday as Kara and I were going outside to weigh and measure Tiggy, as we call her, Kara pointed and exclaimed, "Look!"  I dutifully looked--and then said, "Darn!"  That steer Boudin had gotten out of his pasture, following the bad example of naughty little Sir Loin.  What really scared me was wondering if our young bull Royal had gotten out, too, and where he was.

While I ran into the house to grab a bucket of alfalfa cubes, Kara headed down the hill toward the drive on the right where she could see the naughty bovine was heading.  A minute later I headed down in the Doodad with my bucket of feed.  The naughty steer and Kara were out of sight down the drive.

I walked down the drive until I could see Kara standing near the gate, not far from Boudin--Wait a minute!  Boudin was standing in his own pasture with Royal right beside him, looking curiously over the fence at . . .

. . . a cow!  Not one of ours because she was too big, and both of ours were safely behind no-climb horse fence.  But a cow, nevertheless!  I could only guess that she had come to visit baby Mrs. Tiggywinkle!  (Actually, I think she heard all our cattle carrying on over the new baby and came looking for company.)  She followed me through the gate into the pasture where I dumped the cubes on the ground and shut her safely in.

After we had done what we needed to do with Tiggy, I got thinking that I didn't want a strange cow where she might touch noses with my animals through the fence.  So I went back down with a bucket of sweet feed, and she followed me willingly into the Back Pasture where there was plenty of water and grass.

I called the sheriff, animal control, the local radio station that announces lost and found animals, and even some local vets that treat cattle.  We also contacted the only two neighbors we knew of who had cows, but nobody was missing one.  The guy who answered the phone at one vet's office asked, "So are you telling me you found a cow?"  "Well," I replied, "actually she found us!"  He took my information and then said, "That is the funniest thing I've heard in a long time!  Thank you for making my day!"  (All I have to say is, I love to make people happy!)  :)

Since it looked like she might be here a while, I decided the cow needed a name besides "the strange cow."  What could be more perfect than Lucie, Mrs. Tiggywinkle's visitor in the story?  After all, she had come to call on the day Tiggy was born.

This morning our peace and quiet was shattered.  Lucie was in season, and she was bellowing it to the whole world.  Royal may be just 9 months old, but he rose to the occasion, bugling back at her in a very loud duet.  It was pretty funny because unlike the old song, in this case mama sang bass and (would-be) daddy sang tenor!

It looks like Lucie won't be staying for long because her owner turned up today, clued in by one of the neighbors we talked to.  So tomorrow they'll come over with round pen panels and a trailer, and we'll have Operation Bye-Bye Lucie!  Too bad, it was kind of fun while it lasted!


  1. Funny story! Take photos of the roundup.

  2. Ha, ha, ha! Glad you know where she came from!

    1. Her girlfriend headed our way a day or so later, but they caught her before she got here.

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