Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Sheep or goat?

Nouans-les-Fontaines in southern Touraine is also the hometown of some cute little sheep. At least that is what I thought they were when I first found the website of ‘La Ferme des Hauts Bourdiers’. This was the second thing I wanted to see in the village.

After our visit to the local church, where we saw the famous Pieta by Jean Fouquet, we followed the mayor’s instructions and drove in the direction of Orbigny. Pretty soon the road led into the countryside, with open fields on both sides and not a house or farm in sight! 

The mayor had told us to continue for about 5 km, until we saw the sign with the name of the farm. After 6 km there was still on sign. And then, just when we were about to turn back, we saw it! We took a right turn into a narrow road that led to a farmhouse. When we stopped in the yard, a black border collie came running to the car, barking and wagging its tail. There were two cars parked in front of a barn-like building. Behind the barn was a low outbuilding with the word ‘Boutique’ written over the door. While we were walking up to the ‘boutique’ the door opened and two ladies came out. One of them was about to leave and the other one accompanied her to her car, after which she joined us in the shop.

I had come here to buy a poncho made of angora sheep wool that I had seen on the farm’s website. The lady, who turned out to be the mother-in-law of the young woman who makes these garments, immediately set me straight. This wasn’t sheep's wool, but goat’s wool. And she continued: “Would you like to see the goats?” Of course we did!

Our hostess showed us into the barn-like building
we’d seen on arrival.
And there they were; the cuddliest little goats
you’d ever see.  Don't you agree?

The lady explained that this little flock was one year old. The animals had been sheared last February and already their curly white coat had started to grow again. They all had little horns and long pink velvety ears. They were very curious and as soon as we pointed a camera at them, they started to behave like furry professional models, taking elegant poses to show off their best features. They made such easy subjects that we shot dozens of photos …

Don't I look pretty?

Next the lady showed us the adult males that were kept in a separate pen, while the females were grazing in the nearby pastures. At some point the lady’s granddaughter came out of the house. Worried and with tears in her eyes she asked whether we had come to buy one of the goats. We immediately reassured her that we had no extra room in the car, and that it would be too far for the poor animal to walk all the way to Belgium.

Back in the ‘Boutique’ I bought the white and grey poncho I had come for, as well as a turquoise scarf made of angora wool and silk for my mother. It was quarter to five when we left the farm. As we were running late for our rendezvous with Ken and Walt in Saint-Aignan, I called Ken to tell him not to worry. We would be there soon ...



Nadege said...

Soooooo cute!

Jean said...

They look like cuddly toys, not real goats !!
Are you sure they were real ?? Did you actually see them move ??!!

ladybird said...

Nadege, I knew you would like them!

Jean, They are real, don't worry. And very lively and playful! But as I said, they liked being photographed and stood very still as soon as you pointed a camera at them; just like real stars!

Carolyn said...