Sheep Worries

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We have some sheep. That's them in the picture. Lily and Pixie. Lovely little Dorper ewes they are. Well we got them home on Sunday morning, T promptly fell in love with them of course, and by Monday morning they were happily wandering the house yard, munching away. We patted ourselves on the back and told ourselves how clever we were!

Then the fun began. A storm came over - just a little taste of a bigger storm to come, according to the Bureau - and I looked outside to check on the sheep. They had found a protected patch under some trees near the fence, and seemed content to just lie there and wait it out. Before too long, the sun came back out, and the sheep resumed their roaming and munching.

I was just about to leave the house to go out for dinner when the storm came back. With its mates. I looked outside again, and noticed the sheep were on the wrong side of the fence. Dinner was going to get delayed. I headed out - in the rain, wind and hail - and herded the two sheep back up into the house yard without too much of a problem (except for the rain). I wandered the fence line (in the rain), worked out where they had managed to crawl out under the wire, and fixed the patch (in the rain).

Patted myself on the back again - what wonderful farm girl skills I have! I went and had a shower and, feeling quite pleased, went to entertain a couple of friends with my sheep wrangling story over dinner.

We got home about 10pm only to find - no sheep. We did some cursory wandering around (vainly, and rather stupidly, calling out "Lily! Pixie!" like they were going to come!) and fell into bed, determined to track them down in the morning. When morning came, my dear SO had a good wander around, but failed to locate even the merest of "baaas".

Morose and disheartened, work progressed as usual on Tuesday, the primary thought in my mind - "how am I going to tell T?". I had all but decided that they had both become fox-food overnight, but we dropped a couple of notes in the neighbours' letterboxes anyway. Well, within minutes of dropping them, lo and behold, the phone rings! It's the neighbour - she saw the ewes this morning, and could we come and collect them. "No problem!" says I, and off we ran. One of the sheep (Lily) was in a yard with a bunch of Belted Galloway bulls. These aren't little bulls, I might mention. So, to cut the long story, well, not quite so long, we chased her around the yard a bit and, with the help of our lovely neighbour, managed to bundle her into a dog collar and whack her in the back of the car. We drove home, get her back into the yard, and I set to fixing the fence. Again. But better this time. I'm determined that there's no way a sheep can escape from the yard. Nuh-uh. No way, no how.

The next morning, wouldn't you know it - no sheep. So seven o'clock sees me out in the back paddock again, chasing a sheep. After about half an hour of successfully chasing her further away from the house (despite my best efforts) I start to lose my temper. It's something that happens quite easily before my first cup of tea for the day. I left Lily meandering around the neighbour's yard and went home for a shower. The phone rings. It's the neighbour. Again. "I have one of your sheep" she says. "I know" I say. As I am speaking to her on the phone, Lily decides to make friends, I can hear her bleating in the background. The neighbour manages to bundle her into a small equipment shed on her property, and I jump in my car and head around. In the tiny space afforded by the shed it's easy to collar the sheep, put a lead rope on her, and lead her to my car. I hoik her up and stick her in the back of the hatch. Thank the neighbour - again - and drive her home - again. This time, I'm determined not to be outsmarted by the dumbest animal on the planet. I tie her up to a tree with a bit of rope and head down to the Rural for chain, a dog collar and an assortment of clips and hooks. I also picked up some antiseptic cream from the vet for a scratch on her nose (which is bright yellow, and makes it look likes she's been sniffing highlighters).

At home, I assemble the apparatus and gleefully tether Lily to a tree. She hasn't budged. To be honest, if she tried, she'd be turned into Saturday night's lamb roast. With gravy. And mint sauce. *evil grin*

PS: If you live in the area, and spot Pixie ... let me know, and I'll come and wrangle her into the back of the hatch and tie her up with her friend!

UPDATE 16 October:

The prodigal sheep has returned! Pixie was found by the neighbour this morning, locked in the equipment shed a la Lily yesterday. Successfully collared, returned home in the hatch, and is now happily tethered in the yard. She doesn't appear to have hurt herself (miraculously!) although she seems to be extremely tired - who knows what she has been up to since Monday night. Instead of fighting me when I got her out of the car she just lay down on the grass, which seemed quite unusual.

The two seem quite happy to have found each other again. There's been nary a baaa since Pixie has been back.

And I need to buy something nice for the neighbour ...



Aurelius said...

When T left, there were two sheep.
When T returns, hopefully there will be two sheep.
I am sure she will never believe the adventure that went on in between.

Loquacity said...

True. But T doesn't believe quite a lot of what I tell her. With the wisdom of all four and a half of her years she'll give me a leery look and say "you're so silly, Mum."


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