In keeping with tradition, he arrived on November 5 when the hours of darkness outnumber those of daylight.
Of the one hundred single females on the island playing the field, only one brazen hussey eyed his broad shoulders and firm muscles and decided she was ready to put him to the test.
They did it, there and then, in front of my office window. It fair made my eyes water.
By the way, I’m talking about sheep. What did you think I was on about?
Yes, Rambo (as I call him, according to the farmer, who can’t afford sentimentality, he’s ‘ram number three’) was delivered to the large field at the back of my house for some serious tupping duty. His powerful physique was a great improvement on the previous year’s example of ovine manhood who earned the moniker Petal as soon as he left his trailer and minced off over the field in the opposite direction to his intended love interests. I collared the farmer after this little demonstration.
Me: Can’t we have one a little butcher?
Him: What, you mean with a leg missing?
Me: I said butcher, not butchered.
It turned out that Petal’s official title of ‘ram number one’ was a tribute to his tupping powers and the fact that his offspring were always twins. Just shows, even in the sheep world appearances can be deceptive.
And at least Petal effected coitus in the more traditional way, in other words during the hours of darkness so nobody could see him. Rambo had no such qualms, seeming to prefer broad daylight in front of my office window although, to be fair, he sometimes chose a patch of grass outside my kitchen window.
His modus operandi was always the same. Once he’d singled out his playmate of the moment – by smelling her rear end, since you ask – he would follow her around, grazing about an inch away from her nose just in case she wasn’t getting the message. Then he would rub his nose against hers followed by a quick head butt if she was really thick. After that he would position himself behind her and stroke her flank with his hoof, waiting for the moment when he could climb on board. If he got it right there were smiles all round, if she took umbrage at his intentions and ran off he’d fall to the ground, pick himself up and start all over again (as the song sort of goes).
He wore thick, orange ‘raddle’ paste on his chest so he left his mark on the rumps of all those he serviced, apart from the ewe everyone on the island is still talking about who ended up with a beautifully coloured head.
When I was first marooned here many years ago, I was leaning over a five bar gate practising chewing a length of straw when I became fascinated, as you do, with a long protuberance hanging down between the rear legs of a grazing sheep. A local grande dame who is also a sheep breeder was passing and I asked her what it was. “That’s a ram darling,” her cut glass tones declared. “And that’s his balls. Must dash.”
And so she did, hotly pursued by a haze of Elizabeth Arden’s Blue Grass while I contemplated the furry baseball bat before me, but not for too long because I didn’t want to get a reputation.
At the end of Rambo’s one hundred ewe sex marathon his own dangly scrotal sac shrivelled and then disappeared altogether, closely followed by his physical presence as he stood by the water trough in a pale, limp, downcast half coma, not moving for about a week. He didn’t drink, feed, lie down or even sleep from what I saw and it wasn’t long before other people noticed and knocked on the door to enquire about his well-being. They even managed to spook me into ringing the farmer to ask if ‘ram number three’ was OK.
Him: He’ll be fine. Where do you think you’d be at if you’d just tupped one hundred ewes?
Me: Under arrest, probably.
But he did recover and spent the rest of his time here either eating or sleeping and studiously ignoring the females whom he’d once pursued so frantically. It started with fireworks on November 5 and ended a couple of months later with a damp squib. Such is life.