Before you all sit down to your delicious Christmas dinner, we thought you might like to know what our animals have planned for their special day. There have been endless meetings in the Animal Barn and heated discussions around the Park but, finally, the following timetable has been agreed:-
9am: Christmas breakfast (after a hard-earned lay in). This will be identical to Christmas lunch, Christmas dinner and, indeed, Christmas supper except that there will be a LOT MORE OF IT and
everyone will be stuffed. Except the poultry of course. All animals will start the day by soothing any ruffled feathers in the poultry corner and assuring them that they are in NO immediate danger.
10am: Once the clucking has all died down, resident farm animals will have a session of digesting their breakfast. For some, this will involve strenuous jumping, climbing, stretching and running around without actually arriving anywhere new. For others, it will be a case of lying down on a warm bed of straw and moaning gently until the happy haze of Christmas breakfast begins to wear off.
11am: Time to think about lunch. Oh no! Too early. Time for the ecumenical service of Thanksgiving (calm the turkey someone) and a few rousing Christmas carols. At Barleylands, we have a strict policy of ‘freedom to worship in any way you see fit’. Some of our animals like to chew in a contemplative way while staring out across the landscape. Others can be seen doing a lot of head bowing and scraping the ground. And there are a few who partake in a full throttle ‘express yourself like crazy’ physical and vocal frenzy of spiritual release.
12pm: Lunch time! Thought it would never come….
1pm: Time for presents!!! As far as we can tell, the animals haven’t quite cracked this part of the day in past years. They appear to be under the impression that a head-butt or a friendly nibble will more than satisfy even the fussiest friend and absolutely no wrapping paper is required.
2pm: Afternoon nap…
3pm: The King’s Speech
4pm: Christmas Day Five-a-side-Football tournament. This year we have teams of sheep, cattle, chickens, goats and meerkats. Our money, however, is on the donkeys. They win it every year and
there are only three of them…
5pm: Christmas dinner!! The day just gets better and better…
6pm: Star counting and Carols with a performance of ‘Animated Antics’ by the Bagot goats who are performing free of charge in the spirit of Christmas.
7pm: Storytime. This is being covered by the sheep and they have asked that there be no interruptions or they will lose their place and have to start all over again from the beginning.
8pm: Supper time!! What a day….!
9pm: And so…to bed….Our lovely animals thoroughly enjoy Christmas Day but, if truth be told, they miss having visitors and they are very glad it’s only once a year!