Monday, 7 March 2011

Don't tell anyone

In the interests of veracity and good blogging practice, I have to add a slight qualification to yesterday's post about Eddie and Billy. I'll say it quietly, and I don't see why you should read on unless you want to - everything will be cleared up one way or the other in a couple of days, and I'll post about it then.

(The thing is, Billy isn't actually a goat. He's a Soay tup. Soays are an early, and quite rare breed of sheep associated with the island of St.Kilda, off the west coast of Scotland. In my defence, they do look a lot like goats, and their famously quirky characters are more goat-, than sheep-like. Also, the larger flock on Billy's island may indeed be goats, and this may be why Billy (an unfortunate name in retrospect - Sammy or Shaun would perhaps have been more appropriate) doesn't graze with them. I assumed he had simply lost out to another he-goat on the island, but that only goes to show I shouldn't blog about something until I'm sure of my facts. I haven't told Eddie yet, though I'm sure he doesn't care one way or the other. Anyway, this new information comes from one of a flood of emails I received yesterday after sending out over 300 (and getting 250 hits on the blog). None of the others mentioned that Eddie's friend is in fact a sheep, but one came from our dear friend Hilarie Russell, who has bred sheep for years and lives in Inverness-shire, and consequently qualifies for guru status on the subject. She very tactfully mentioned the faux pas only in passing, before going on to family news, but she was pretty sure Billy was either a Hebridean or a Soay sheep. I googled both, and the result was conclusive. However, as I say, the jury is still out on the rest of the animals on the island - they look like goats to me and their pictures are above, for you to decide for yourself. More on this later.)

So there you have it. No big deal.

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