Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sheep Wrangling

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?"
Please leave a comment below. I love hearing from you.

13 comments:

Delirious said...

ROFL!! The mental image was perfect!

My grandfather used to always say in his "sheep" voice:

"I've been heeeerding sheeeeeeep for thiiiiirrrrty days with no one to taaaaaalk to but sheeeeeep." ;)

Beth said...

Hilarious!

Next time, tell your friend to keep a video camera rolling. You could be getting rich!

Great story!

Anonymous said...

Your my kind of gal, Sandy! I could see every little bit of that, but thankfully do not have to feel it! Good story. :-)

kelly said...

ya mom, i would have loved to see that!! the other show would have been me peeing my pants laughing so hard!! "hay look at that, the mom risks her life and the kid's laughing and peeing her pants!!"

Laura said...

Hi, Sandy,

I just read your blog page, funny mental images came to mind while reading it. I think you're onto something that could be yet another 'income stream' for your farmstead! ;-) Do you do guest appearances? We have some wild Icelandics that are in need of deworming and shearing, could sell a few tickets here, too, I'd bet. Then a friend has some alpaca rescues that are pretty wild, we were planning to get together to wrangle them up for haircuts one day later this week. Are you available for that? You could start there, we could proceed to here for the next day's entertainment/ticket sales. Let me know and tomorrow I'll start printing and selling advance tickets, with a few more at a higher price available at the farm gate. Hum...we could all get rich! :-D

While there I looked all over your blog site and noticed that you have a notation about the detrimental NAIS but have not updated that notation to make sure that newbies to the concept understand that NAIS was figuratively killed "...due to stiff opposition...", but is even now being "...pursued under a more flexible framework at the state level." The new name, (changed in order to protect the guilty and to mislead the unwary) is now ADT and purported "listening sessions" have been being held around the country by the APHIS, a division or subsidiary of the USDA. Natural Solutions Foundations is also following closely S510 and I had emails from them about their website being blocked and removed from the internet each time they have a show in progress and have reached the point in that show where they are about to debunk certain misleading statements designed to stampeded Congress into passing S510, the (fake) Food Safety and Modernization Act written by Monsanto and introduced by a member of Congress whose husband is a contractor counting Monsanto among his clients.
We who would remain free need to be diligent and constantly communicate with each other, helping each other stay vigilant and effect real change...change back to the free people our founders intended.
Laura

Anonymous said...

How funny! Been there, done that. Shearing day here is a scream too. 300 pounders, all RESCUES, no kidding. We do worming, hoof trimming, vaccinating same day. That's fun. Most hysterical is the shearing of the 2 resident llamas. One cutie patootie, sweet boy. He's hard enough. And one big, gnarly, grumpy, hateful, RESCUED llama, "petting zoo burnout" which means he hates women & children & most everything else. He's a real chore to shear, or to even be in the same county with. He hears my voice anywhere, pins those ears back on his head so flat, he looks like a snake, & starts puffing his cheeks out so he can spit on me as soon as I'm within range. Attached to my husband, who always has a hard candy in his pocket for Mr. Hateful. The shearer swears every time (they are only sheared every 2 yrs) "THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE LAST TIME & I MEAN IT".....then we talk him into coming back again....

Thanks for the laughs. Ain't it fun? CJ

Anonymous said...

Too funny! I like sheep. I tried to catch one every chance I got when we were in Ireland, but I never could. -Cheryl

Melody said...

LOL! I love your stories! You should compile a book of short stories/essays & have it published!

Anonymous said...

You would probably do well at many state fairs

Lisa said...

OH MY!! i hope you weren't too sore after that! I wouldn't be able to walk for a week!

Christine said...

ROTFL! I love your description of how it went down. I can laugh because I've done it myself a time or two and let me tell ya, it's not easy getting back up at 40 either.

Ryan said...

Oh so funny. To think of all the farm animals I would think of raising someday sheep are high on my list. Right after tilapia.

Jeri said...

Ouch! I hurt just reading that. Take it easy, girl!