Hemmingway, a yearling Scottish Highlander, went to “summer camp” this year. I mean “real” summer camp. He was at Griswold Scout Reservation in Alton where he was brushed, walked, hugged and loved by the boy scouts for eight weeks. The camp has a farm program which included sheep, goats and, of course, Hemmingway. In July I got a call from Townsend Carmody, the camp's farm program coordinator. The heifer she had arranged to bring to camp was too wild so she asked if we had any Highlanders to loan. Hemmingway was the answer.
Hemmingway was born on Halloween last year to one of our most gentle cows, Missy. All winter he would escape with his partner in crime, Rowdy who was about four months older. The two hung out together, played together and escaped together. We use charged wire to keep our cattle in the pasture but in winter, with heavy snow, it's hard to keep a good charge in the fence. The weakest charge is at the gates. Hemmingway and Rowdy would duck under the gate into the barn yard where they wandered around looking for trouble. They ate hay in the feed bunker and if we happen to leave out the pig food, helped themselves to that as well. We did our best to make sure the fence and gates had a charge but it is a constant challenge and something of an art to keeping fences charged in the winter. No one wants to battle with snow covered fences, freezing fingers and icy footing that will put an inattentive farmer on her butt in seconds.
Older now and hopefully over his delinquent ways, Hemmingway is finishing his time at Boy Scout Camp. I wonder if he earned any badges? I don't think he has escaped from Griswold so he won't get an “escapee” badge but maybe he'll get the “Most Huggable Bull,” or “Most Hairy Coo” badge. I guess I'll just have to wait and see. If you want to check out his badges or just give him a hug, come to the Hopkinton or Deerfield Fairs. Hemmingway and his mom, Missy, will be at both fairs with other Miles Smith Farm cattle. Stop by and give him a smooch or a hug. He's good at that.