A well trav­elled ewe

The Oban Times - - Districts - Iain Thorn­ber iain.thorn­ber@bt­in­ter­net.com

LONG be­fore the rail­way and live­stock floats came to the High­lands, the Ard­tor­nish shep­herds used to set off walk­ing every Septem­ber to the Falkirk Tryst with a drove of cast ewes and wed­ders.

One year, af­ter swim­ming them across the Cor­ran and Bal­lachul­ish nar­rows and some­where be­tween Glen­coe and Bridge of Orchy, they missed a black­face ewe which they knew well. They never ex­pected to see her again but she ar­rived back at Ard­tor­nish in Novem­ber hav­ing trav­elled round the head of Loch Leven and Loch Eil.

The fol­low­ing year the same ewe was sent away again. This time the shep­herds man­aged to get her into the parks at Sten­house­muir near Falkirk the night be­fore the sale. Next morn­ing she was miss­ing. ‘Ah well,’ thought the shep­herds, ‘that’s a pity af­ter get­ting her here but that will be the last of her, she’ll never make Morvern of it from here.’

In May, the fol­low­ing year, she ar­rived back on her home hirsel on Ard­tor­nish with two cross lambs at foot.

A hardy Morvern ewe.

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