Dealing with Sheep

Some years ago I used to have a small-holding which I ran along side my normal day job. This was a great thing as it meant we were surrounded by animals, which as every young girl knows is the basic requirement of life. In all there were about fifteen chickens, six cats, two horses and twenty sheep. Needless to say, the sheep were the most demanding species on the farm and required skill and concentration to be managed successfully. Given my skillset this was a problem, but where there’s a will etc.

On a regular basis we had to trim their coats and nails so they could live comfortably and look presentable for any visitors. We mustn’t forget Sid the ram, of course. He didn’t care about looks but could certainly give you a nasty butt if you didn’t watch your back.

The field, which was their current home, was of a decent size with an open fronted barn on one end and a fence on the left, on the other side of which was a track used by the local farmer. Being a professional, he viewed my cheery lack of knowledge with bewilderment but was otherwise friendly. Come the day for nail trimming and I gathered my three girls, age between six and ten to act as sheep dogs. The idea was to guide the sheep calmly into the barn so we could proceed with our task in its pleasant shade. All seemed to be going well and the girls, helped by me, slowly moved the sheep towards their enclosure. Just as this task seemed complete all hell broke loose and the sheep suddenly scattered, leaving my girls running for their lives and me growling with frustration.

For reasons which have not yet been fully explained, I decided this was too much and I dived at a passing member of the flock, determined that at least one of them would bow to my will. I landed on the sheep’s back with my arms around its neck and, without discussing it further, the sheep set off across the field, with me riding it until we reached the furthest fence. As we were moving I slowly started to slid off its back but clung on with grim determination. Finally I slid right round till I was lying on the grass, still clinging to its neck, and now peering into it’s eyes.

The eyes were oddly intelligent, with a touch of patience surprising in the circumstances. They were large and brown and seemed to be saying, “You don’t really know what you’re doing do you. “You couldn’t disagree with that. As I pondered this moment I heard a tractor on the other side of the fence. Sitting on it was the local farmer, looking straight at me and just shaking his head. It seemed both the sheep and the farmer shared a common opinion of my skills. Still, it was fun and you can’t impress everybody.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in childhood, Life, Relationships and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Dealing with Sheep

  1. Big Al says:

    This is a riot. At least you now have “sheep wrangler” to fall back on if the day job doesn’t work out.


  2. Jdw says:

    I love this story it tells the lighter side of life so brililantly


  3. Larry Lilly says:

    In the states they have children ride sheep at local rodeao and call them muttin busters. Its funny to watch as they hang on for dear life as this wolly denizine of the dark tears across the arena.

    I could see the eyes of both of you, the sheep’s silently saying what a dumb ass and yours screaming what now!


  4. I feel like I am on the back of the sheep with you! (Although the look in the sheep’s eyes would have been less than patient if that were the case.) This is a rich and wonderful story, told with exquisite humor.


  5. backonmyown says:

    I have an absolutely hilarious vision in my head now. 🙂


  6. says:

    Ha ha ha! That was a very funny post. I can just imagine the surprise of the sheep’s eyes as he looked at you. Funny funny imagining this. Wish there was a picture. ha ha.



  7. Julie says:

    Worked with animals, eh? That explains some of the wisdom.


  8. Jillsy Girl says:

    Thank you for stopping by my place and saying hi. So glad you did because it led me here to read such lovely, well-written posts. I don’t have the time right now to go through all of them, although it appears your blog is somewhat new, so I might very well be able to catch up on them all. I look forward to reading more!


  9. I can’t decide which is funnier – gathering your daughters aged between six and ten to ‘act as sheepdogs’ or the fact that the lunge you made at the sheep was ‘for reasons which have not yet been fully explained’!! Too funny.


  10. scrambled7 says:

    So funny. 😀


  11. Kirri White says:

    A cute and funny story. I hope your girls still tease you about it 🙂


  12. eof737 says:

    😆 Oh that was a riot and I’m still laughing… Despite popular belief, sheep aren’t as stupid as we think. 🙂


  13. Dawne Webber says:

    The sheep were the most demanding…
    I guess that explains why humans are likened to sheep so often 😉


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