Due to the massive growth of grass and weeds around the polytunnel entrance, I noticed that it was impossible to close the door. This has obviously been left open all summer. In preparation for the colder weather, I tackled this problem. I cleared away the weeds from around the doorway, and then re-used some old floor tiles from the aged FIL’s farm (where they had been piled in a corner of the farmyard) to pave the entrance. It’s looking very quaint, but at least the door can now shut!
It’s possible we have made a mistake with one of the rabbits; there was mating behaviour going on in the male’s cage; so we’ll need to check whether one of the males is not actually a female. We can do without any inbreeding at this point, thank you. I moved the possible female rabbit into a separate cage. Female rabbits reach sexual maturity between 4-5 months of age, and males between 5-8 months. Today is day one of month five, so fingers crossed that nothing has occurred! According to the younger daughter of T&M (aged twelve) the way to tell the difference between male and female rabbits is from the length of their eyelashes. Long eyelashes = female. Short eyelashes = male. Nope. I’m afraid she has been misinformed. One simply looks at which way their waistcoats are fastened. Buttonholes on the left: male. Buttonholes on the right: female. (My apologies to Beatrix Potter). No, there’s a more obvious way to tell the difference, but it’s not an easy task holding a struggling rabbit on its back. You see, these are not pet bunnies which are used to being handled and petted. They tolerate us opening the cage because it generally means we’re giving them food. But trying to pick one up is another matter entirely! My first attempt to be kind in picking up a rabbit without using its ears as a useful handle ended in blood. Rabbits have quite sharp claws, and if one does not want to be mercilessly scratched, one has no choice but to grab the ears firmly in one hand, a bunch of fur at the rump end, and lift.
Speaking of kindness to animals, I came across this item the other day which is worth sharing here.
A cat died and went to Heaven.
God met her at the gates and said,
“You have been a good cat all these years. Anything you want is yours for the asking.”
The cat thought for a minute and then said “All my life I lived on a farm and slept on hard wooden floors. I would like a real fluffy pillow to sleep on.”
God said, “Say no more.” Instantly the cat had a huge fluffy pillow.
A few days later, six mice were killed in an accident and they all went to Heaven together.
God met the mice at the gates with the same offer that He made to the cat.
The mice said, “Well, we have had to run all of our lives from cats, dogs, and even people with brooms!
If we could just have some little skateboards, we would not have to run again.”
“It is done.” All the mice had beautiful skateboards.
About a week later, God decided to check on the cat. He found her sound asleep on her fluffy pillow.
God gently awakened the cat and asked, “Is everything okay? How have you been doing? Are you happy?”
The cat replied, “Oh, it is WONDERFUL. I have never been so happy in my life. The pillow is so fluffy, and those little ‘Meals on Wheels’ You have been sending over are delicious.”
LSS’s contract negotiations were successfully resolved at the last minute, so as from next week I won’t be seeing much of her; and feeding all the animals will become my job. Several persons have asked LSS, “Doesn’t your husband get lonely, being stuck on a farm in the middle of nowhere with nobody to talk to all day?” She replied, “No, he’s a bear. He’d be quite happy living on a deserted island.” I suppose that’s true; being on my own doesn’t bother me.
The corridor construction is nearing completion. The tricky bit is the roof beam which runs across the middle of the bedroom. To cut the wood panel to fit around this beam entailed climbing a ladder, holding the panel in place, marking it, climbing down the ladder, taking the panel to the workshop, cutting it, bringing it back, climbing the ladder, holding the panel in place, marking it again… I did that five times. But at least that section is done!