The rolling hills of Wiltshire were subjected to the business of canal-making in Georgian times. During 2004 the 12 year old blonde haired Gregory Gray arrived at a towpath on his red bicycle.
“Birdlegs'” gentle ways endear him to the waterfowl, farming community and the herd of cattle. One female moorhen, Madcap is “outrider” for the herd. She vets humans as they appear on the towpath. Gregory discovers life is not routine for farmer Crock when the cattle are as mischievous but lovable as any group of people.
Coff, the black Aberdeen Angus calf along with his mother Giggles encourages the humans to compete the duo in a class at the local Agricultural Show.
A second moorhen family thoroughly impresses G G. The second family show him how their bodily lightness takes them both in and out of danger when humans and calves share space. Gradually his isolation and insulation are removed by the almost daily bonding.
Village minds endear his family but one presence brings forth tough reality. Tests have to be faced, learning curves have to be surmounted. The grandparents in Birmingham seem to know when to add a timely call.
The caring team of canal engineers are kept busy when the scene is full of novices, tethered canal boats and waterfowl. The engineers hope to keep a low profile during the hectic summer but greenness takes it's toll.
Twelve year old Gregory Gray has begun cycling from his suburban home into the newness of a rural setting interrupted by the canal.
The magnetic force of the herd and in particular the couple most devoted to him, Giggles and Coff, her black Aberdeen Angus calf draw him from the comfort of his home out into the wildness of the hillside. Greg would however discover that the chill in the farmer's heart would not offer him an undisturbed scene.
What could a landscape offer to distract the distraught; to sway the balance? Would Subtle and her 10 mallard chicks bring about a cure or would the Chinstrap family step forward to claim Gregory's heart? Perhaps Mrs Flintoff's holiday, leaving her hens in need of a provider would offer some much needed balm. School certainly looked a strong contender for his heart when Geography became 3D. We shall see.
Tom, the shopkeeper dare trust no-one when he turns hunter for the hillside dissenter. Is it his chance to hold the aces?
A chill in the air, a blessing of fireworks as minds battle to overcome the nips and shivers of a November night. Sadly fireworks are not silenced after the 5th. The indomitable Buttress the bull must protect his kingdom as readily as the sun sets and the grass grows. The mulled drinks might bring warmth but for Farmer Crock yet another chilling for the herd which would leave them truly isolated.
Fresh air arrives with some newcomers. Adam Wheeler would discover the wisdoms needed to stay aboard his boat. His neighbours, Mary and son Ben would learn to stretch their budgets this Christmas as skilfully as the canal stretched through the countryside.