It wasn't a terrific day for Merlin the pony and the pig farmer found himself surprised that he had quite a bit of sympathy for the croft's cockiest and, at times, most troublesome resident.
Merlin is not what you'd call a prime specimen. . . hardly in the class of a Badminton winner or a Gold Cup contender. Come to think of it, there are donkeys on Blackpool beach that compare favourably.
Not only has the lad got short, fat, hairy legs, but he has a pronounced "underbite". His bottom jaw sticks out so that his teeth don't line up. This means, as horses' teeth keep growing, the two sets don't wear each other down.
So the vet - out from Mainland on his monthly tour of Westray - came to call, brandishing a large file. Merlin was good as gold at first and vet and Mrs Pig Farmer were able to cope comfortably. However, Merlin finally decided enough was enough and started playing his face.
"We need to hold him in the corner," said the vet. "Do you happen to know any fat bastards?"
A fat bastard was humming along to The Undertones' Here Comes The Summer while he did some repairs to a pig shed which has had a hard winter. Summoned to help a damsel and a big hairy vet in distress, he shoved Merlin into the corner, leant over him and pressed him to the wall while trying not to wince as the filing continued noisily.
Job done, there was one final conversation - will gelding him (Merlin, not the fat bastard. . . or the vet) improve his behaviour. See? I told you it was a bad day for him.
"Probably," was the answer. The fat bastard squirmed in sympathy as Merlin had a thorough examination.
I daresay there are places where you can pay good money to have your bollocks squeezed by a 6ft 7in Scotsman with a beard, but it's not my thing and it's certainly not Merlin's.
The vet departed with a promise to send us an estimate for the job. I'm finding it hard to remain objective and, just for once, I'm standing shoulder-to-shoulder (in reality shoulder-to-knee) with Merlin on this one.