In the toughest of droughts, three local farmer’s daughters have tried to find a little joy.
Seven-year-old Abby, nine-year-old Macey and 10-year-old Zali live about 80km south of Dubbo where a poddy calf and four lambs were left orphaned after their monthers didn’t make it through the drought.
To give them the best start in life and create a bit of fun, the girls named their poddies after the Royal Family. They named the calf Meagan and the lambs are Prince Harry, Prince Charles, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
The girls wake extra early each morning to feed their poddies powdered milk before school. They then feed them after school. They found some old wine bottles to use as milk bottles – and it is the girls’ jobs to mix up the powdered milk themselves.
“They are our responsibility, so we look after them,” Zali said.
“Meagan is the cheekiest. When she’s finished drinking her milk out of the bucket, she flicks the bucket onto her head to lick her bowl clean!”
The girls kept the poddies locked up in a caged area when they were freshly born to protect them from predators such as foxes.
Zali says they will always keep their poddies as pets. They are not joining the herds because that means they will be sold.
Macey says even though Meagan is a calf and is the odd one out, she still gets on really well with the lambs. They are like one big happy family.
“They are all good mates.”
Now the girls are hoping they might be lucky enough to meet the real royals when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Dubbo in October.
“Meghan is very pretty. It would be a dream come true to see Meghan and Prince Harry in Dubbo,” Abby said.