The Tale of the Two Little Pigs
As they were lifted squealing out of the back of Gill’s Citroen Berlingo and into their enclosure they took their chance to escape and ran. Their escape bid was successful. Mingus only got as far as the potato patch but little Blossom disappeared across neighbouring fields. Excitement turned to dismay but Simon immediately rallied everyone to help capture Mingus. Four volunteers with hurdles tiptoed across the potatoe patch towards the unsuspecting pig hidden amongst the foliage and cornered him. Mingus was carried squealing back to the van and taken down to the cow sheds. There were mixed emotions – relief that Mingus has been captured but where was little Blossom and how would she cope out there alone in the big bad world? Everyone had their own thoughts. Realistically all thought that the fleeting glimpse of the little ginger pig was the last that anyone would see of her.
Two days later Blossom was spotted – on the front lawn at breakfast time. News spread fast and everyone was happy however, all were asked not to try to catch her for fear of frightening her away. We had to bide our time and tempt Blossom with food to stay around and hopefully an opportunity to catch her would eventually present itself! Sightings of Blossom became more frequent. Sarah saw her in the potatoe patch early in the morning. Charlotte and Nieevie saw her skipping across the meadow as the sun was rising. Catherine saw her watching the hens being fed. Almost everyone spotted her – except Mark. But the pig saw Mark. He was telling our new campers that although their tent was in the cow field and we had a pig on the loose they would be quite safe . “Do you mean that pig?” asked the campers – Mark looked behind him and there was Blossom. Now that wasn’t the last Mark saw of her. Late that night on hearing the sound of screaming, Mark ventured out with torch in hand and found Blossom annoying the cows and calves in the meadow right next to the tent. Oh dear! Rescue complete the shaken campers spent the rest of the night in the house.
The days passed and whilst Mingus spent them feeling sad and lonely in his sty Blossom was having a ball - becoming bolder and more settled at Monkton. She seemed happiest spending time with the cows and calves although they didn’t take to Blossom often chasing her away. Blossom was not to be discouraged and to be fair the calves did seem to enjoy having a new playmate, After all they were all the some colour! So Blossom joined the cows – eating the grass and even trying to suckle. She began to think she actually was a cow and that Milou was her mum. She followed the cows as they went in for milking but was always fiercely driven away them. One morning her persistance paid off. The cows let Blossom follow them right into the cow shed but the game was up as Gill quickly closed the gate. Mingus was reunited with Blossom and they both lived happily ever after in the newly reinforced pig enclosure next to the potato patch.
The West Dorset 6 Peaks Challenge!
On Saturday 8 May five intrepid walkers set out to complete the West Dorset 6 Peaks Challenge. The 16 mile route which included the 6 highest points (we think) in West Dorset was devised by Roger Bell (former chair of the trustees) to raise much needed funds for Monkton Wyld Kindergarten. His 2 youngest children attend the kindergarten. Paul another kindy dad, Charlotte the kindergarten teacher, Mark and Catherine who live at Monkton also rose to the challenge.
At 9 o’clock we set off up our first ‘peak’ - Leweston Hill. This was a delightful climb through bluebell woods and in what seemed no time at all we were at the top and heading to our next ‘peak’ – Pilsdon Pen. We walked along lanes and across fields and were soon at the top. The weather was cold and grey but it suited us fine as we didn’t get too hot! From the top of Pilsdon Pen we could see our next peak in the seemingly far distance – Lambert’s Castle.
With Charlotte in charge of the map and Roger (who is actually a footpath officer with Dorset County Council) the route finding was easy. It was a steep ascent up to the top of Lambert’s Castle but with the incentive of lunch we made it – Mark even broke into a run but the rest of us kept to a steady plod.
Onwards we walked into the afternoon – up and over Coney’s Castle and across wet grassy fields down to Wootton Fitzpaine and on towards Charmouth where we stopped for tea and snacks. Only 2 more ‘peaks’ to go we thought – so off we set up Stonebarrow Hill and up on to our final ascent – Golden Cap. With tired legs we all made it and gathered for a photocall . From here it was simply a short stroll (?) downhill towards the pub at Seatown for a celebratory drink.
The 6 Peaks Challenge Kindy Fundraiser is still accepting retroactive pledges (or pledges for next year). Contact us to find out how to contribute to the Kindy cause!
More photos from the walk coming soon on Flickr.
Kindy Children's Apple Pressing
Our kindergarten children and parent and child group gathered together on the front lawn to make apple juice from the apples we had picked from our orchard a few weeks ago. After visiting the straw bale house where the apples were stored we made our way to where Roger had set up the equipment. Roger explained that we needed to wash the apples first before cutting them into quarters. All the children helped and soon we were ready to put the pieces into the apple crusher when the children had a go at turning the handle. Once the apples were crushed Roger put them into the apple press and a jug was put in position to catch the juice. The children began to turn the handle, gradually increasing the pressure on the apples. All eyes were watching for the first signs of juice and after a few minutes to our great excitement the first little drops of brown liquid began to trickle through. There was enough for everyone. We carefully carried our apple juice back to kindergarten to drink with our snack and we all agreed that it was the best apple juice ever – it really was!