‘What’s this all about?’ I asked the leader, at which point she approached and sniffed my leg. ‘I have nothing to give you,’ I pleaded (like they do in movies set on the mean streets of wherever.) I offered to pat their heads, but that didn’t impress them and eventually they let me go. Throughout it all the kids hung around just watching, as kids do, and three of them were black. Imagine that: three black lambs. I’ve never seen even one before.
I realised they must have thought I was the farmer come to give them their daily hay ration, and once they got the message and decided I wouldn’t taste as good as best meadow hay, they lost interest.
It reminded me of the day when one of my ex’s got mugged by a pair of sheep for her sandwich, on a mountain above Derwentwater in the Lake District. By the time I heard the squeals and turned round, she was already flat on her back (rendered supine by ovines – nice phrase) with two bloody big sheep stamping all over her, trying to grab her cheese and tomato butty. I had to go and lift them off, which was a bit irritating because it interrupted the taking of a picture I was lining up. No one apologised for troubling me.