I’ve been farming all day so I’m an old hand already. We have to go count the sheep now, and when Hector Fyvie says “You know the difference between a ram and a ewe, right?” I almost scoff, but I’m polite. I say “Sure, Uncle Hec”.
So hundreds of sheep are herded past us in an orderly fashion, not too fast, not too slow. Obviously I have been given the easier job – counting the rams – as there are only a few sheep with horns compared to the many, many ewes.
“How many did you get?” asks Hec, deadpan. “Seventy nine”, I say confidently. I know my arithmetics. “Oh”, says Hec, looking a bit worried, “There shouldn’t be that many.” Tabs is having a much harder time concealing his mirth and I realise I’ve been had!!
You’re meant to look between their legs! Not on their heads.
Oh, the shame! Exposed as a townie-poephol! Got to hand it to Uncle Hec, the master of quiet, understated humour. I still blush when I think of it, I’ll never be able to fall asleep counting sheep again. But of course Uncle Hec was very gentle on me and gave me a whisky that evening, as always. Just not as stiff a tot as the one he poured for Aunt Stell.