Thursday, January 24, 2008


When I was a child in South Grafton, and my father was developing his initial beef-grazing activities at a nearby property named Deep Creek, I had the impression that he was obsessed by the challenge of building and repairing fences. I felt that, if my father were truly a cowboy, then he should be spending far more time on horseback. Instead of that, he was perpetually digging holes to plant eucalyptus posts, and tightening barbed wire. Today, my small property at Gamone has taught me a lot, retrospectively, concerning my father's preoccupations at Deep Creek. And I too, at my humble level, have often been concerned by the all-important question of fences.

Yesterday, I finally got around to using steel rods to support the electric fence, instead of wooden posts or plastic spikes. The advantages are their robustness and low cost, combined with the fact that they're easy to plant and move from one spot to another. By the end of the day, my two donkeys were fenced in behind a ribbon supported by steel rods. But I didn't have time to connect the electricity to the new fence.

In the middle of the night, I was woken up by Sophia's furious barking. Looking out the bathroom window, I distinguished the silhouette of a large animal in the dark, and I imagined that one of my donkeys had broken through the new fence. Later on today, I discovered that this was not the case.

Neither of my donkeys had broken out. On the contrary, a neighboring animal had broken in! This mare was tired of eating hay and being alone in a wooden cubicle up at Bob's place, so it broke loose and came down to visit my donkeys and dine on real grass. The animal belongs to a charming young lady named Angélique, who's a producer of goat cheese in Châtelus, on the other side of the Bourne. She's wondering why her elegant mare would wish to join up with a pair of lowly donkeys. As for me, I like to think that this fine animal came down to Gamone in the middle of the night because it wanted to be there, as soon as the sun came up, to admire my new electric fence.


  1. This morning, when I woke up, there were two other horses behind the house. Before I had time to take a photo, my neighbor Alison came down with Angélique to lead all three horses back up to Bob's place. When Bob called in this afternoon to pick up his mail (delivered to my letter box), he told me that his electric fence needs to be completely overhauled... which explains why their horses escape, and immediately head down here to my place, where there's lots of grass. Meanwhile, I have the impression that my donkeys are intrigued by these unexpected equine visits... which are actually quite amusing.

  2. Of course, it is a coincidence, but it is quite funny that they arrived once you built up the fence. I imagined reading a new article tomorrow saying that you found new residents in your field: deer, antelopes, giraffes, dragons...