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Exploring the Welsh Countryside

Essay By: miss mary

This is the true story of when my x-husband and I first moved to Wales in 1977. We had brought our dog ‘Queenie’ a ‘collie' dog, born in Newbury Berkshire. It was a lovely day and so we decided to explore our new area.

Submitted:Jun 7, 2010    Reads: 49    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

Slowly the car pulled its way up through the steep narrow winding road.

The family admired the stone built Welsh cottages and country-side.
Queenie, our Alsatian Cross Collie, sat on the back seat, front paws leaning on the back of my seat and her nose pressed on the slightly open window, sniffing the air.
The road continued up and out of the valley into the wide open space of moor land. Queenies' tail wagged vigorously. It was as though she knew what was ahead. In a few minutes time we would stop to view the beauty of the country side and stretch their legs. Little did we anticipate the next move.
Reaching the top of the hill there was a suitable place to park. We were now on the grassy slopes of a Welsh hill with the grandeur of views around. Stepping out and taking our picnic snack, we sat on a grassy mound. All around were sheep, walking, eating the green, juicy grass and resting, huddled into the niches of rocks and crevices. From a cloudless sky the sun sent its warmth down for all to enjoy.
We ate and listened to the baa-ing of sheep; saw the light brown horse with her foal. Everywhere sheep, horses and the sound of bird song. Apart from the usual countryside sounds peace was upon this piece of Gods' land. Finishing our snack my husband announced he must check the water in the car after that very steep climb.
I put the leash on Queenie. With her usual excitement of a walk, she jumped noiselessly out of the car, landing on the soft grass. I informed my husband I would not be long. Just a quick stroll before we went on our way. Holding the leash tightly, I crossed the road. And saw many broken glass and beer bottles. And thought "Oh dear why people spoil the countryside" Queenie tugged, slipped the leash and was gone in a flash. I called but to no avail. She had turned a deaf ear to her human masters. Delighted to be free, able to round up the sheep doing what her instinct told her.
Calling my husband, he looked up to see me point down the hill, the line of sheep were running along the narrow grassy pathways followed by a white dog barking furiously.
Dropping everything my husband joined me as we tried getting our dog back. Fear held on to us both. The farmer would see, find his gun and shoot our dog! What were we to do? Even though she was naughty at times we love her to bits.
Further down the slope was a ruined building. Queenie had just passed it chasing the long line of sheep, but suddenly turned barking at a sheep that was not following. I went one side, my husband the other and approaching saw the sheep butting our dog. "Good" I thought "it will put her off". But no, both were having quite a fight in their own animal ways.
Finally we caught her. Had we? Just as my husband tried to get the leash on, she slipped through and continued chasing a very frightened sheep further along, We watched as both sheep and dog started again. Luck was on our side, both animals were tiring. Still in our same positions we 'shoo-ed' at both animals. The sheep started running toward my husband followed by Queenie, who was this time, firmly caught and given a sharp telling off. She was then handed to me.
Slowly ascending the slope Queenie climbed along, puffing and panting. . Reaching the car she quickly quenched her thirst by drinking three bowls of cold water. Without being told she clambered back into the car and sank down on the back seat, exhausted. In no time at all she was asleep, no doubt dreaming about her natural instinct of rounding up sheep.


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