17 November 1995

DIARY OF A SHOW HEIFER

SUNDAY

4am. Well, here we go again – some show somewhere. Heard the lorry being cleaned out yesterday and I just knew it. Hope they bring some better hay this time – important if a girl is to look her best.

8am. Arrived at last. Traffic noise, horrible smells and its hot. No chance to settle down much before being led to the tap. Yuk! how I hate those taps – havent they ever heard of warm water – and the places they like to squirt it!

8.10am. Still here. Major interest around the tail section which, frankly, is embarrassing. The old fly swatter will never be the same if they carry on pulling at it like that.

10am. Have to say Im bored. Beds not bad and theres plenty to see along the rows, but Im beginning to wonder what Im doing here.

11am. Have just eaten a cheese and onion flavoured crisp – Ididnt want it but when one is unexpectedly pushed into your mouth , theres not much to be done about it. At least its nice to have someone paying attention to me, even if it is only because they cant wait until they get to a waste bin to put their crisps in.

11.25am. Something is happening at last. Were going into the ring in a nice orderly fashion. Lots of people, some of them applauding. Feels good but one more swipe from the tail of the one in front and I shall stop.

11.26am. Ive stopped. Call me stubborn but a girl can take only so much. Someones getting annoyed. I can tell because there is something poking me in the side (always happens like that). OK, a few more steps will not make much difference – but not in that direction.

11.40am. OK, so were in the ring, lined up and, I have to say the rest are a pretty ugly lot. And now here comes the hands – a bowler hat and a pair of hands. Wonder how hed like it, and what is he looking for anyway? Everything was in the right place this morning but come to think of it, I havent seen my tail recently. Worry.

11.55am. Its me! Yes! Well, there is some sense in the world after all – another rosette to nail on the back of the door, another bowlful of glorious "well done" feed and an endless stream of admirers travelling the length and breadth of the country to…hang about, why is it only a yellow one and why isnt anybody taking my photograph? Bowler hat and hands clearly has an eye problem. Ive had enough of this place.

4.pm. A thoroughly boring afternoon made worse by the fact that I have failed – perhaps it was the smell of cheese and onion crisps on my breath. Played with a bit of hay, had a slurp of water and decided to sleep it out. People everywhere looking, commenting and even poking. There is no privacy in this show world.

4.20pm. Its time to go. Back in the lorry – back to my field. First thing Im going to do is have a good roll and then a good graze. And then, if no one is watching, take a bit of exercise – us show heifers have to look after our figures.