Polly seems to be the most alert at this practice and is usually the first to pop up her head and notice that a human being is approaching. First one head goes up and an inquisitive gaze is cast in the direction of disturbance, followed by three more heads accompanied by a plaintive bleat before some mutual signal sets all four goats in motion and they begin their bound across the field, ears flapping in unison with their stride, to reach the gate before the food arrives.
On the other side of the coin, while the goats eat of the bounty of the land, they in turn are being preyed upon. What dangerous creature lurks in the paddocks waiting to attack the unwary and reduce it to an empty husk? It's not a snake (of which there have been several sightings so far this year) but a creature of humble proportions and yet devestating impact. The activity of this creature is often evident when we find the goats red with their own blood; dramtically contrasted on Polly and Sugar's white hair. This assault is obviously perpetrated most often at night, only manifesting in the light of day and making it look like the girls have been involved in some brawl with a broken bottle. The culprit is nothing more significant than the humble leech but here acting in a feral rather than medicinal capacity and taking their fill regularly from our coddled livestock.
Neither Lyn nor I have escaped unscathed as the leeches seem to be invading the gardens as well as the paddocks and damp patches on trousers are not necessarily just the result of wading through the long grass but may be patches of blood, soaking into clothing from weeping wounds left after the leech has gone. We may need to start wearing red socks to hide the evidence and certainly give up wearing sheer tights as the welts of leech activity remain for days afterward. It's no wonder gumboots are so popular on farms.