Lauder Lass had a lovely visit today from a wonderful family of 5 including their daughter Sophie – an avid book reader and a unique 9 year old who raised nearly £400.00 for her local Cub / Scout Group, 1st Consett Scout Group which is based in Consett, County Durham. 1st Consett Scout Group is made up of three sections (Beavers, Cubs and Scouts), with over 80 children in the group in total.
We first came across Sophie when she had just completed her fund raising 33 mile walk with her Father, after which she was still full of enthusiasm but naturally a bit tired! They completed this walk in 48 hours with one short stop for a tent nap. She had also been commended by Thirlestane Castle’s Edward Maitland-Carew and Lauder’s own Scout Group for her bravery and stamina to complete her mission.
During our conversation it was discovered that she, and her sister, had a passion for animals, so as a congratulations for completing her Mission Sophie was given one of Lauder Lass’s books. A fortnight or so later, Sophie reappeared with a beautiful thank you note and she also told us that she had read Lauder Lass’s book three times within a fortnight. In view of her newfound connection with Lauder Lass her whole family were subsequently invited out to see Lauder Lass (and her other 4 legged friends of course).
A day was arranged, and excitement filled the air as they all trundled out of their car. As we walked, Sophie was telling us that she was extremely taken by Lauder Lass’s book (now for a 9 year old to have read a book three times within a fortnight – was just amazing in itself!)- extremely good going for a 9 year old! however it was clear that she sensed that she needed to stay calm, and bless her, she even told her family to stay calm.
We suggested that two of the family went in at a time, the first of course being Sophie, and her Mum was chosen as the second. Well, for a nine year old to connect with Lauder Lass so well was truly humbling, and proof that she clearly read her book from cover to cover and word for word.
After spending time gaining Lauder Lass’s trust, Sophie very gently, but more importantly calmly, encouraged her out of her stable, walked her calmly up to the top field and let her through the gate to her day time pasture. Each step she took was completely on Lauder Lass’s level of full appreciation and was truly accepted. This is one little girl who we are sure Lauder Lass will never ever forget.
4 hours later Sophie and her family were still gently wandering round Lauder Lass’s other four legged friends, including Greedy the sheep – who wagged his tail happily for her, Barney, Lauder Lass’s adopted son, taught her whole family that, actually standing directly in front of a horse is not only invading the horses space, but also potentially dangerous for any human, but more importantly they realised that each horse/animal has its’ own unique language just as each kid has his or her own language and that each connect differently or respond differently by the way they are asked to do something, but often as adults, we assume, that asking in the same way for each individual should get the same response! how wrong we are!
To give each animal their voice and choice is imperative for a healthy relationship or to encourage 50/50 communication should be everyone’s goal in life.
Sophie, you were a joy to have and you would be most welcome back anytime.
Sophie, we admire you for your courage for walking those 33 miles just as we totally admire Lauder Lass for her bravery and courage for learning to trust again.