Jul 24

Floss’s Bark: Skirting around farm gear

I tried to ignore my boss's skirt.

I tried to ignore my boss’s skirt.

A Blog by my Dog.

Dear Readers,

My boss recently went on a cattle moving mission dressed like a real girlie girl – and being a female, I’m qualified to comment. Oh, the shame!

I was, of course, wildly excited when cattle broke through a fence and got onto the beach. Not only is this illegal, but they hardly ever get onto the beach these days because the farmer’s done miles of coastal fencing. Pity, because dealing with cattle kicking up sand is fantastic fun. They’re excited and a good stiff ocean breeze gets them even more worked up.

We were in the ute on the way to sorting out the bulls when my boss spotted the place where they’d broken out – although there was a clue: one bull with its foot caught in the wire was bucking and jumping.

The farmer dropped my boss Rae and me then drove on down the beach to get the rest of the cattle – and that’s when I noticed the boss’s skirt. I kid you not, she wore a flimsy, pretty wrap-around skirt. Full length. It was flapping all over the place. Cattle, as you know, only like people in jeans. I took off after the ute, figuring if I ran really fast I’d catch up and . . .

“Floss, come back here,” called the boss in the voice she uses when she knows I’m not inclined to listen. Damnation!

Turns out it’s also the voice I can’t help obeying. Why is that? If there’s a question in the universe I’d like answered, it’s that one. I slunk back, sat beside her and thought, ‘Why did you have to wear that dumb skirt?’

Pretty soon, the farmer was herding the cattle towards the boss who was holding a stick with one hand and the flapping skirt with the other. This wasn’t going to go well.

But the clever farmer urged the bulls off the beach and up the bank to the break-out spot – where they gathered in a muddled huddle. No way would they jump the single low wire into the paddock. Bulls are odd like that – happy to jump over a wire to get out, won’t do the reverse.

Meanwhile, the farmer moved quietly around the bulls which were all gaping at my boss and her skirt. I knew their attention was making her nervous.

“Stay there, bullies,” she called before yelling at the farmer, “I’m going to get the ute,” and took off at a gallop – or as much as a gallop as she could manage, what with the flying skirt and wearing gumboots. I followed. Couldn’t help myself.

After she got back and delivered a hammer and nails to the farmer, he lowered the troublesome wire and the bulls ambled into their paddock.

On the way home my boss’s words whistled past my super-sensitive ears: “Did the tangled bull free himself or did you do it?”

“I did,” said the farmer whose face had been twitching with amusement for some time (there was a lot to laugh at – my boss, her skirt, her nervy attitude, her ungainly gumbooted canter). “I wrestled it to the ground and unwrapped the wire. The judges gave me 9.5.”

I knew this was nonsense, but I don’t think my boss did because she just grinned and said nothing.

Yours truly, Floss

(Hope you enjoyed this – I do enjoy Floss’s point of view. I’d love it if you’d share this or comment here or on my Facebook page. Thanks.)

About the author

Rae Roadley

Rae is a journalist, freelance writer and writing tutor. Soon after returning to her hometown to work for Northland's daily newspaper, she met beef and sheep farmer Rex Roadley. He lived in a historic home at Batley on the Kaipara Harbour and after moving there, Rae reported on farming then wrote a newspaper column, The Country Side. Her wryly amusing tales of country life earned many followers and led her to learn more about the local people, past and present. She tells the story of her new life in 'Love at the End of the Road: Finding my heart in the country'.


  1. Jenn J McLeod - House for all Seasons

    Oh I LOVE Floss stories. I know Zeus the sea faring Staffy who sails the seas with owner Helene Young and puts a rather lovely blog post together from time to time.

    1. Rae Roadley

      Thanks, yes, Floss does have an original point of view – I shall have to look up Helene Young’s page.

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