two little girls standing next to a sign that reads "danger free range children"

The Round Up

Near Keir Mill
Dumfries and Galloway Region

On previous cycling trips past Drumlanrig Castle, I had noticed a very cheerful-looking cottage with flower boxes and a fence with various children’s toys always lying about. But never had I seen any people there. A most amusing sign across the road warned of free range children, much like the caution signs in remote areas where livestock are not fenced in but have open range to graze. I thought it a clever and ingenious way to get motorists to slow down, even though this tiny lane couldn’t have an overwhelming amount of traffic. One day as I was passing I saw a lady out in the yard. As I got off my bicycle to talk to here, two adorable wee little girls came around from behind the cottage. I asked if they were the “free range children” mentioned on the sign. The lady answered, “They most certainly are.” I asked if I could take their photo beside the sign. The mother agreed and the children galloped over on stick horses. As can be seen, the younger one had a very short attention span and was all set to exit, but big sister took charge of the situation and held her in tow until I got focused. Their sweaters and red cheeks are evidence of a cool summer day.