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The Angel and the Shepherd Boy -
Robin Walker



John's Story Making it happen
John's Diary  

I used to work on the farm after school. I was 14.

photo of sunsetI was told in the morning what I'd be doing when I got home. There was no time for doing homework. I'd harness up the horse and cart and get a load of turnips. I could plough with three horses when I was 8 or 9. I wasn't very big. I stayed small from too much work. That's why I didn't grow.

At lambing time I had to get out of bed at two o'clock in the morning and go and look for some sheep. It was dark and I was half scared. You just had to stand and listen. photo of sunsetYou'd hear a ewe and you went to where that noise was coming from, the sound of its motherliness.

If it was a dry time with that east wind on, well, they went over their time and of course the lambs kept on growing, for all they were still inside the ewe, they kept on growing.Come a wet night, oh, next morning, that was a helluva carry on for lambs. As soon as it rained, or snowed, there was a multitude of lambs if you had a lot of sheep.

photo of John StoreyYou get this wind that they call the helm wind. It blows in March, If there's a white bar along that east fell it will blow for three days, this is what they reckon, and if it doesn't break in three days it'll blow for nine days, and if it doesn't break in nine days it'll blow for twenty seven. You can hear it roaring like there's a train coming. You get to bed at night and you can't sleep. The professors have been to study it and they can't make out what causes it.

I miss being on the land. I miss everything, the every day goings on on a farm. I just miss it. It's bred in you, in your blood.

John Story died in April 2005.

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