ANOTHER day, another sheep sale. It is getting to be a theme of this holiday.

We have been greeted with great friendliness. On enquiring at the tourist information centre in Napier, the area where we are now, as to if there was a sheep mart, they said they had never been asked that before and had to look it up on their computer to locate one.

Turning up early we slid our big 4x4, oh yes we are travelling in style, between the double decker livestock truck and trailers in the mart car park. These are massive vehicles.

Much longer than equivalent livestock transporters in the UK as the trailer is the length of the livestock truck. You need to make sure you have sufficient room on the road if you want to overtake one of these combos. And check you can actually see past them too.

Everyone is so friendly. Quite happy to answer questions. The auctioneers themselves changed with each pen and were apparently different stock and sheep agents, representing individual sheep farmers.

While these agents were all very smartly dressed, the buyers themselves mostly looked as though they did not have two pennies, or NZ dollars as it is here, to rub together.

Wearing an assortment of baggy shorts and even baggier tee shirts, they looked more set for an afternoon on the beach, than buying hundreds of cull ewes and spring lambs.

But of equal fascination to me were the photos lining the wall of the mart depicting the buyers and auctioneers at the time of the devastating earthquake that hit the Hawke’s Bay area, in 1931.

Many of them had a little poem underneath each photo, and as they amused me, I am passing a few of them on.

So with reference to the flamboyant style of a Mr Stewart, we had the following:

At auctioneering most-adept,

In Southern Hawke’s Bay often kept

Most busy with oration.

When he’s performing in the pen,

His acrobatic acumen,

Results in price inflation.

Or of Mr EW Ormond, who clearly checked the ewes to check they had a full mouth of teeth before buying:

Fine frame and fleece may take the eye,

And catch the bids of some who buy

Without due thought.

The farmer wise is he who knows

The dental excellence of those

That he has bought.

My favourite was clearly a man who was unflappable in the ring:

A twitch of an eyelid - a single glance,

And thousands of pounds change hands, perchance.

Cool judgment is needed such dealings to do

And a difficult man to “harass”: is Lou.

And as for the hapless Mr Mason Waterworth, he clearly did not enjoy a good sale when his sheep were in the ring:

In Ancient Greece the Golden Fleece

Was dearly won by Jason.

Today the stuff is cheap enough

On sheep put up by Mason.

Think I will have to immortalise the auctioneers and buyers at our local mart in verse. And just hope it isn’t followed by an earthquake.