Digglum Bestiaruim ~ The Digglers' Crest

The Digglers ~ Pet Memory Website

The Field Of Trouble

How can one field experience so many problems? You are about to find out.

The field belonged to a farmer. He only had a small farm that was classed as a smallholding. Attached to the farmhouse was a barn and behind the barn were two fields, a large eight acre field and a smaller four acre field. Because he did not have a lot of land, the farmer kept only a few animals, three cows and four sheep. The public were allowed to walk through the eight acre field as it was a right of way leading to a reservoir surrounded by trees. The farmer had built a stile at either end of the field for people to climb over. There was also a gate that led to the farmyard. The farmer kept this locked in case someone left it open and his animals got out. He also kept some geese, hens and ducks that wandered round the yard during the day but he locked them in the barn at night away from prowling foxes.

The farmer hated spring and summer as it encouraged people to pass through his field heading towards the reservoir. Some had dogs and he was always fearful for his animals. The farmer, he hated how disrespectful they were towards his field. Many an evening was spent picking up rubbish, cans, bottles, wrappers and many other objects.
'Why can't they take their rubbish home?' he moaned.

One morning, he was woken by a calf calling. He had been thrilled when one of his cows had produced a calf. He looked out of the window and saw the cow lying very still with the distraught calf next to her. He quickly got dressed and ran to the field. He found the cow still alive but knew there was something seriously wrong. He phoned the vet. Twenty minutes later, the vet arrived and diagnosed that there was something stuck in one of her stomachs and unless he operated immediately, she would die. The farmer went to get water, soap and towels whilst the vet went to fetch his equipment from his car. An hour and a half later, the vet finished the stitching. From the stomach, he had removed a ring pull from a can. The cow had not seen it and had picked it up with the grass she was eating. It had obviously been dropped by someone walking through the field. The cow managed to recover, but it would mean a large vet bill.

That afternoon, the farmer was alerted this time by the screaming of one of his cats. Again the noise was coming from the field. He stopped feeding the hens and raced over to have a look. He saw one of his cats running madly round the field with a tin stuck on its head. He managed to catch the cat who was by now frantic as it was having breathing problems. He managed to prise the tin off. The cat was so relieved that it lay on the grass panting and it was several minutes before it recovered. The farmer noticed that the tin had contained salmon and it must have been the smell that had attracted the cat. Two incidents in one day, the farmer was very angry but worse was about to happen.

Two of his sheep had had lambs and every evening the farmer walked over to check the animals. That night as he went over, he noticed to his dismay that one of the lambs was dead. The mother was distraught as she couldn't understand why her lamb wouldn't get up. The farmer ran over. As soon as he saw the lamb he knew why it would never get up, over its mouth and nose was a plastic bag, a plastic bag that had contained sandwiches. With tears in his eyes he picked up the dead lamb and carried it to the barn. Its mother followed him still calling to her lamb. There was nothing he could do to console the mother and certainly nothing he could do for the lamb. How he wished he could stop people walking through his field.

Two days later he was in the field picking up the rubbish that had been dropped when he saw something glinting in the sunlight. As he bent down to pick it up, he realised it was a glass bottle but there was something inside. That something was a tiny field mouse and it was dead. The bottle had contained milk. The mouse had probably smelt the milk, slid down the bottle, drank the milk and found it couldn't get out as the glass was slippy and couldn't grip. The weather was hot and sunny and the heat of the sun on the glass had 'fried' the poor mouse. What a horrible way to die! The farmer was furious and decided to do something about it.

A few days later, he put some posts and a board next to the stiles. He had taken some photographs showing the damage litter had caused in his field. There was a photograph of the dead lamb with the plastic bag over its nose and mouth, the cow with her stitches, the bottle with the dead mouse and the cat next to the empty salmon tin. He put the photographs on the board next to the stile so that people entering his field would see them and the damage their litter had caused. After that, hikers entering the field were more careful and took their litter home. Several made an effort to speak to the farmer and express how sorry they were. Now the farmer doesn't have to go into the field to pick up litter and the farm animals and the wild animals are safe.

The End