Barnyard Humor
 Farm Animals - A serious spoof

    Those who have been up so far, you will know that most of the time we fly over or land in and around farms.  However, many of you will be unfamiliar with the animals therein and not know exactly how to deal with them or what to expect.  For this purpose, here is an introduction to livestock.
     For those of you who have yet to see sheep close up, you will soon realize that there is a minimum distance inside which they no longer appear picturesque.  It's quite hard to frighten a sheep (I find the best way is to shout "MINT SAUCE!" in a very loud voice), but when scared they gather together and the whole group starts to spin.  It's not clear why they do this, but it could be that they got the idea from watching “G-Force” out of “Battle of the Planets” and are trying to recreate the whirlwind's destructive effect on the invading balloon. This, of course, has no effect on the balloon if it's safely up in the sky, but does damage the sheep themselves and any object that gets in their way.  But try telling the sheep this, will they listen? -  ooh no, sheep are notoriously stubborn - once they've got an idea in their heads there's no shifting it.
     Generally, the stronger the surrounding fences - the more highly strung the cows therein: 
(average instability of cow) / (wall strength) = a constant(ish)
     Watch out for light brown Guernsey which are technically regarded as `out to lunch'.  When scared, cows will bunch up and move towards the balloon. The frightened cow, however, could easily be mistaken for one that is exceedingly happy to see the balloon, as it will jump, skip and run round and round and out the field.  It's been said that a cow can loose a days worth of production of milk if frightened. 
     Sometimes a little “over-friendly”, bulls have a particular fondness for suede coverings and may try and mate with the basket.  If there are cows in the field the bull will send them over first to investigate before making it's move. If the bull decides it doesn't like the suede coverings this could result in the even trickier situation of the bull mistaking the basket for a rival -  and that could quite easily have an eye out.
     Very easily frightened (Have you seen any pigs renting horror films at the video shop recently? I thought not: I rest my case.), a scared  pig will bolt and stop for nothing, be it walls, farmers, agricultural machinery or any other animate or inanimate object.  It is thus especially important not to frighten pigs as they will tend to flatten the surrounding area, or at least try - most pigs have yet to realize that in a head-to-head charge with an iron gate, it's not going to be the iron gate that's nursing a headache the size of Brazil for the following week.
     Also easily frightened, though they are sensible enough to jump over objects to get away from the balloon,  rather than attempt to run straight through them - there's such a fine line between stupid and clever.
     Poultry have a deep-rooted resentment for balloons. This probably arises out of jealousy because they can't fly.  When they spot the balloon they'll move in the opposite direction in disgust, trampling over each other and forming pyramids in the process, which isn't too good for the birds on the bottom, especially if they haven't been circus trained.
     Goats are odious creatures.  If you see a goat, especially a tethered one, tell the pilot immediately so they can fly as close as possible to it with burners blazing. That'll teach 'em.
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