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Sunday, September 12, 2010
I went to a friend's house to help worm her sheep. Problem is, my friend doesn't have a catch pen, which, by the way, is next on my list of things to help her with. Yes, sheep are dumb, arguably the dumbest creatures on earth. But for all their stupidity they sure can run fast if they sense danger. Let's see - stranger in the pasture who's intent on catching them, could be to eat them? That smells like danger. The first sheep wasn't too hard to catch as it was raised as a bottle baby. But it was all downhill from there. You can only trick them for so long before they finally decide "No way am I going to let this strange person with that dangerous looking drench gun anywhere near me! I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid!" The last sheep to be wormed was a very large, hairy beast with a definite attitude. She decided after watching me with the first sheep that it was infinitely safer to be on the other side of the pasture from wherever I was. If I was at one corner, she was at the other. Where ever I moved, she moved opposite. Finally I got a bucket of grain and threw some down at my feet. Ahhh, the stomach of a sheep wins over their common sense every time. As the other sheep, who had forgiven me by this time, gathered around stuffing their faces, this big girl came closer and closer, all the while watching me. I just stood there gently dropping grain on the ground, not daring to move. She edged closer, closer, closer... until she was right at my feet, pushing her greedy nose into the middle of the flock to get her share. When the time was right I sprang into action. Simultaneously dropping the grain bucket and launching myself into the air, I grabbed the fleece at her neck with both hands. The awesome speed with which I landed on her back took her by surprise. It also spooked the rest of the flock who frantically ran in every direction. She zigged, then zagged, then took off at a dead run for what seemed like 3 miles, then suddenly collapsed in a heap. When the dust cleared I was still attached and laying on top of her. Did I mention she was a very large sheep? It was like doing a 5 point restraint on a Shetland pony! My friend, who I think was selling tickets to the event and her daughter was selling popcorn, ran over with a looped rope, slipped it over her neck, and said "OK, I've got her, you can get off now." Yeah, right. I'm 62 years old. I have an iffy back, a bum knee and 40 lbs too much in the middle. I just wrestled a bucking bronco and now I'm laying on top of a hairy mountain. Sure, I'll get right on that. I did finally get upright, although I'm sure it wasn't graceful. We got the sheep up, wormed her and took the rope off her neck. What did she do next? She just stood there looking up at me. "Hey lady, that was kind of fun. Can we have another go round?"