Wild Runaways

Two wily Lakeland sheep, bossy Maggie and quarrelsome Poss, escape from a Yorkshire farm, and tailed by a strange unknown ewe struggle to get back to their real home, the mountains of the English Lake District.

As the adventure unfolds, the trio tumble in and out of danger and soon are being hunted down by the relentless media.

Published by Bishop Pot Press. Available as an ebook.

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Review

What is so lovely about this story is that it captures the essence of the Herdwick sheep, their natural instincts for survival and their hardiness. The story made me laugh out loud as they extricate themselves from any number of scrapes.

The story is written with warmth and humour and introduces the reader to the life of sheep on the mountains.

The Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association look forward to promoting this book to the young shepherds of tomorrow!

Amanda Carson, Secretary of the HSBA

 

 

Extract

ON THE RUN

Ewe Chapter Icon

SUDDENLY there was danger. It happened in seconds. The two woolly lumps were taken by surprise, caught in the road, dazzled.

“Run!” cried Maggie, scarcely able to see a metre ahead of her. “Run!” she yelled.

Slices of headlight lit the tops of trees and slashed at the hollows. The car blazed into sight, travelling fast, and reached them in an instant. Hardly aware of direction, Maggie and Poss tumbled into the safety of a ditch.

The car roared past and vanished into the night.

“Yuck,” cried Poss. “Just what I needed!” She splashed chest deep in water, mad at herself for not jumping more carefully. She hated wet ditches.

Maggie hardly bothered. The car had missed them. There was no time to waste. “Come on!” she ordered. Hurry! They’ll catch us!”

“I am hurrying!” Poss protested. “What do you think I’m doing?”

They raced on into the blackness, Poss annoyed as well as soaked. Annoyed at Maggie. Too bossy, that was Maggie’s trouble.

Only twenty minutes ago they had escaped and the rest of the flock had yelled excitedly that they wanted to escape too. Herdwick sheep are notorious for escaping. But a farm dog spoiled everything. As the flock raced around knowing Maggie had found a gap in the fence, the dog streaked up the field barking madly, farmer Tom Dunn on his tail.

Maggie and Poss did not wait. They dashed to the gap and forced their way out onto a road.

The others never made it.

Now the road was empty again. The two runaways trotted quickly, their hearts pounding, knowing the danger: soon the farmer would be chasing them.

Far ahead an orange glow lit the underside of the clouds.

“It’s a town,” said Poss. “What’ll we do?”

“Keep going,” said Maggie. “We’re not safe yet. So don’t go thinking we are.”

“I’m not,” protested Poss. “And I don’t!”

Maggie stayed in front, not slowing for a second. She was bigger than Poss. A bit wilder looking. More in charge. Not that she thought she was bossy – bosses never do. Everything was happening quickly. Only two days ago they were driven down off a mountain far away in the Lake District, which as all-intelligent sheep know is somewhere up in the top left-hand corner of England. They were sold in a noisy town market and a long journey followed in a horrid trailer to this dismal place.

And where was it? Nowhere good. They were off-loaded with twenty other sheep and bundled into a yard.

At daybreak the flock realised they were on a strange farm. But no one knew where. Everyone began making wild guesses. It must be Derbyshire. No! Then Lancashire? No! The Midlands? No! Well, definitely not in the Lake District because the buildings had funny red-tile roofs instead of proper slate ones; there were small fields instead of wild mountain slopes, and fences instead of drystone walls.

Everyone was talking at once . . .

 

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