Saga of a woman old enough to know better who lets her life be governed by the ridiculous hobby of breeding and showing dogs, musing on life, the twenty first century, Cameron and his mini-me, and the occasional sheep.

Friday, April 25, 2008


....or so I thought. I gave up sheep and their merry shepherd-thwarting ways some years ago - you really need upper body strength for that game. (Boy, do I miss standing in a sleet swept field at dawn with one arm all the way up a lambing ewe....)

But this spring sheeep have been popping up suddenly in all sorts of odd corners, like pimples on an adolescent - and just about as welcome, thought I, chasing off yet another ewe with lambs at foot and a "just taking the weans on a wee holiday" gleam in her eye.

The truth was revealed when I came along the road the other day and found George trying to herd a selection of unwilling errant sheep home in front of the Land Rover. (Just try that some time - a bit like trying to stop Niagara by holding your hat under it).

My neighbour George has been the source of a major sheep diaspora as long as I have lived here. He has a large and prosperous farm despite proving completely incapable to fence in sheep. I have had many visits with the same conversation...

"Hae ye seen any yowes? I`ve lost a few yowes."

"How many, George?"

"Couldnae exactly say..."

"About when did you lose them?"

"No very sure..."

"What kind?"

"Oh, just commercial mixed.."

And for the next few weeks amazingly athletic creatures who have evidently all seen "Free Willy" more than once, are chased all over the neighbouring holdings with little success, losing their wool to fences and trading weight for hard muscle.

In a valley where there are a number of smallish holdings, escapes don`t go unnoticed. My past two nearest neighbours have kept goats, and they put sheep in the shade when it comes to escape. A sheep escapes because it could. A goat escapes with a purpose.

I remember the five goats who got into a field of cauliflowers one night. In the morning there was a vista of leaves. The goats had neatly removed all the white curds and were now incapable of any movement beyond burping. I seem to remember a mean fight over compensation....

And beyond that, the goats who got out and ate rhododendron. It is a poison to ruminants and produces paralysis. The goats lay about like wooden statues, stiff as boards. Their rescourceful owner loaded them like so much firewood into the pickup and headed for the vet, where they were treated. The problem came when five rigid goats revived rather suddenly in the surgery and were totally freaked out by the experience....but their owner did help to clear up the wreckage and I expect the traumatised cats dogs and rabbits would recover in time with the help of some animal psych......

There`s only one goat left at the end of the road now. She is very old, and looks knowingly at the fleeing sheep.

The grass is quite green enough on her side of the fence.
Hahaha... I do love your anecdotes! You always make me laugh :)
Thank you for adding a cheerful note to my day.

Goats and sheep are not the only critters to escape.. I had a rottie who would clime a fence and if she saw something interesting just go on over. Lucky for me my neighbors all liked her.
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?