Perfect Farm Wife or Pretty Woman? Lorna Sixsmith

One of the challenges of living on a farm can be keeping your garden safe from marauding livestock. We’ve had a few goats in the past and they were often caught munching away in one of the flower beds. They never seemed to appreciate the grass in the garden, much preferring whatever flowers were in bloom at the time. As dairy farmers, our fencing was never quite up to the adventures of the pet lambs we’d occasionally buy and rear for the freezer so they travelled widely too.

One morning recently I was feeding calves and came out of a calf shed to see the herd of one hundred cows trotting down our laneway. It’s about 400 metres to the road but judging by their enthusiasm, it wasn’t going to take them long to get there. What I should have done was let the dog out and let him round them up but he doesn’t always obey me – a dog only has one master and all that. I climbed over a gate to try and race down the field to cut them off. I’m one of those people who believes the only purpose in running should be to catch cattle but I was a bit out of practice after the winter!

I eventually got in front of them and they realised that their little adventure was going to be short lived. However, as they turned back up the hill, they saw a chance for more fun. About forty headed in through the open gate to the garden. Brian eventually arrived with the dog so they weren’t in there long but forty of them, with four hooves each, made plenty of deep marks in the soft ground. I now have the fun of imagining that I’m acting the part of Julia Roberts (in Pretty Woman) when replacing the divots in the lawn – although I’m not sure that anyone else would see the similarity.


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Lorna Sixsmith

Author of 'Would you marry a farmer?' and 'How to be a perfect farm wife' Lorna Sixsmith blogs at

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