It was the worst case of VHCFD I’ve ever had.

NZ Lifestyle Block - - From The Editor - Nadene Hall, Ed­i­tor

There’s a com­mon con­di­tion that can af­flict some block own­ers ev­ery so of­ten. It can be vir­u­lent among new block own­ers, but sea­soned vet­er­ans can still con­tract it.

VHCFD – Very High Cute Fac­tor Disease – is where you spot an an­i­mal of some kind for the first time in real life, and com­pletely, un­ex­pect­edly, you must have it. MUST HAVE IT.

The prob­lem with be­ing the ed­i­tor of NZ Life­style Block, is I’m of­ten meet­ing peo­ple who have live­stock with a VHCF and I have very lit­tle im­mu­nity to it.

The first time I was in­fected was while do­ing a story on minia­ture horses. I love horses, but I did not get mi­nis. You can’t ride them. You can’t milk or eat them. Why?

Her prop­erty was a long slope. Around 20-or-so mi­nis were a cou­ple of hun­dred me­tres away, at the bot­tom of the hill. She called them and I sat down with my cam­era, ready to get a photo as they charged up to­wards us.

I never got the photo. I was com­pletely en­rap­tured. Within sec­onds, I was sur­rounded by these tiny, per­fectly-formed horses, en­veloped in de­li­cious ‘horsey smell’ (the good kind, not the ma­nure kind). They were cu­ri­ous, af­fec­tion­ate, like dogs in horse form.

It was the worst case of VHCFD I’ve ever had. It took a long lec­ture from my bare­foot hoof trim­mer about his re­ally bad back to put me off.

This month, we meet some peo­ple who have gone to ex­tra­or­di­nary lengths to get the cutest sheep in the world. The cute fac­tor of Valais Blac­knose sheep is so high, these NZ breed­ers con­tracted VHCFD from a photo. Meet Abra­ham (be­low) and his girls on page 18. I’m re­sist­ing temp­ta­tion.

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