Whaur’s its lugs?
“On a recent return visit to Dumfries and Galloway,” emails Hamish Mitchell, “my wife and I decided to briefly stop off in Moffat. Visitors to the town cannot fail to see the prominent statue on the main street. Known as the Moffat Ram, and gifted by a local businessman to mark the area’s long association with sheep farming, the statue was originally a fountain.
“At the official unveiling ceremony an observant farmer saw something was amiss. He loudly shouted out to the gathered crowd: ‘Whaur’s its lugs?’
“Incredibly, no one had noticed; the sheep has no ears. After the unfortunate sculptor’s death, his ghost apparently continues to wander around a nearby hotel searching for the ram’s missing appendages.
“We were now on our third visit to Galloway. During the 1970s, when our children were small, we enjoyed a caravan holiday in Glenluce. I remember pointing out the herds of belted Galloway cows grazing in the fields.
The second visit was so different.It was not long after foot and mouth disease had hit the district. The green fields were empty, not a cow or sheep to be seen. They had been culled, then incinerated in huge funeral pyres. Fifteen hundred farmers lost their livelihood and many thousands of animals to foot and mouth disease. The farming community was devastated.
Fifteen years from then, the cattle and sheep have returned but, I only saw one belted Galloway cow, not herds of them. Why? Has the epidemic indirectly led to their decline? It would be interesting to know.”
The Moffat Ram. See story above.