The Angry Corrie 54: Jul-Aug 2002

The sheep pen is mightier than the greensward


Thanks to Pam Volwerk for a cutting from the Press and Journal (also reported on Channel 5 News) about a strange sheep phenomenon spotted in eastern Scotland. "Pam Penfold of Rainham, Kent," the P+J reported on 4 May, "could not believe her eyes when she came across a perfect circle of sheep. Pam was driving past a field on the edge of a cliff off the A9 between Inverness and Wick when she saw a flock of sheep grazing. She could not believe her eyes (yes, yes, we've already got that bit - Ed.) as the flock had formed a perfect circle. More than 100 animals grazed in formation." Does anyone know exactly where this was? "Between Inverness and Wick" is a bit on the vague side.


Gordon Smith was watching the BBC documentary, The Boy Can't Help It, which focused on a couple of people with Tourette's Syndrome. Half of the programme dealt with a wee boy at a boarding school who has recently been diagnosed with the disease. The other half revisited John Davidson, a 30-year-old Galashiels youth worker featured in the 1989 QED documentary John's Not Mad. Having full-blown Tourette's means the likeable Davidson can't stop himself from swearing and uttering inappropriate comments in public places. "At the end of the show," GS notes, "Davidson is walking down the street in Gala with a friend. Somebody passes him and he shouts 'fuck you'. They stop to look in a shop window. The pal points to a framed print and talks to Davidson about the picture, ignoring his grunts and expletives. As they walk away, Davidson is obviously struggling to control another outburst. He eventually loses the battle, and shoots out: 'SHEEP!'"


Extraordinary goings-on at Orbost on Skye, where George Kozikowski recently sheepnapped a flock belonging to the main local landowner, Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Fed up with forever having to evict the HIE sheep from his garden, in mid-April he decided to take a different tack: locking them in and demanding ransom money from HIE before they were returned. The sheep themselves didn't seem at all distressed - after all, a lock-in is a lock-in, be the fodder grass or booze. One source even reported that those sheep remaining on the outside "were trying to get in to their friends on the inside by scaling a 6ft wall. It sounds like an attack from a plague of locusts."

"The sheep have gone to a 'safe field'," Kozikowski himself noted on 23 May, "although I saw them on the road yesterday. I have had a tremendous response to the story from as far as Australia and if nothing else I hope that I managed to put a smile on peoples' faces. The main point is that before crofters et al were led to believe that it was their duty to protect their holding from incursion of neighbour's animals - now they know that, by law, they can detain these straying animals. The police were very helpful to me. It does bring into question some aspects of land reform and embarrassingly so for HIE and its local Enterprise fall guy. As the main landowner of Orbost Estate, HIE and their partners, Scottish Agricultural College, failed to act on a series of complaints which could have been solved over an amicable handshake and a cup of tea."

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