The curious incident of the sheep and cake in the night

With such a glowing mountain forecast promising excellent visibility over the weekend, I headed to Cumbria on Saturday morning and got the bus to Keswick.

The plan: To walk from Keswick to Ambleside along a high-level route, taking in Helvelyn and camping up high somewhere.

After enjoying one of those all too rare mountain days of distant views and liquid early autumn light, I found a flattish, dry spot to bed down for the night.

Apologies for resorting to kit talk, but it’s significant for this tale. I was using my Go Lite Shangrila and Big Agnes bivvy bag combo. My first thought was to simply bivvy, although the wind was cold and, all things considered, felt the additional protection of the Shangrila would make the camp that bit more comfortable.

I pitched and had dinner followed by a couple of substantial nips of Aberlour.

The light receded and I bedded down for the night, zipping into the bivvy to help fend off the nighttime chill.

I drifted off into a fitful sleep to be awoken with the tent bathed in moonlight and the curious sensation of movement around my head outside the bivvy.

As consciousness slowly flooded in, I sat up with a start to find the head of a Herdwick wedged underneath the flysheet, eyes staring at me expectantly.

Nose twitching, my uninvited guest grabbed hold of a small plastic bag containing three pieces of homemade fruitcake and withdrew.

In the head torch beam, I watched the sheep, bag in mouth, disappear over some boulders to enjoy a midnight feast.

I cursed the burglar and then my own stupidity for leaving the cake out. I offer this as a cautionary to all you single-skin shelter users.

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4 thoughts on “The curious incident of the sheep and cake in the night

  1. So much for the timid persona those sheep normally adopt then! I have to say that would have totally freaked me out not to mention that I would have been rather miffed and having lost the slab of fruit cake!

    Just love those clouds in your photograph

    Thanks for sharing your tale!

  2. Thanks for the comment and the tweet. Yeah, it was a little unnerving. My sister in law thought this was hilarious and bought me a copy of Black Sheep afterwards. If you are not familiar with this schlock horror movie, it’s all about mutant sheep attacking humans. It is meant to be funny!

  3. No, I’ve not heard of it, but by the sounds of it probably a good job you hadn’t read that first – funny or not!

    Did once get visitations from a water rat whilst camping by a river in France, it was scurrying for bread – the noise of it brushing against the canvas belied the size of the creature – an experience I don’t need to repeat!

    Looking forward to reading more of your blogs….

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