Thursday, May 10, 2007

all we like sheep...

I've learned quite a bit about sheep today:
  1. Not only do they like strawberry plants, they're also fond of zucchinis (the four they chewed are included in the zucchini tally because, by hook or by crook, I'm going to make it to 200!)
  2. They also like beetroot leaves, leeks (they were just starting to perk up after the tomatoes stopped crowding them) and mildew
  3. They're not as dumb as they look!
I've always assumed sheep are dumb. If they have any rational thoughts outside of which blade of grass to eat next, they might stretch to:

"There's a fence over there. It keeps me in. I won't try and get over it or around it or through it because it is supposed to keep me in. That's the way life is."

That's what I always thought.

Until I came home today to find one little sheep outside the fence, innocently munching on the lovely green grass on the other side. (Who told her the grass is greener on the other side?!)

I put my best Australian sheep rounding-up skills into gear (bit tricky without a trusty sheep dog at my side, I can tell you!) and hustled her back into the yard before hastily phoning Frank for some advice.

No problem, he said. Just go ask the neighbour if he can come and bang some pegs into the ground and hold the fence down that way.

Sure, I thought. I can do that. Later. That sheep won't try and get out again while I'm sitting inside the house. She wouldn't dare.

And so when I tootled outside not more ten minutes later - there she was again, cheekily munching on the greener grass outside again! On seeing me she ran wildly towards the fence, but alas, could not get back through without my help. (all we like sheep... hmmm... there's an analogy in there for sure!) Once I pulled the fence open she timidly sidled past me. I'd like to say she sidled past with her tail between her legs but one, she has no tail, and two, she showed no shame. She just stared regretfully at the lost grass.

It was at that point that I ran post haste to the neighbour and asked for help. He dragged himself from his afternoon nap (he is nearly 80 after all) and banged a peg into the ground here, and a wire into the ground there. At the end of it the whole fence looked significantly worse than it had before we started, so we found some lumps of wood and threw them down at the base before strategically placing the washing trolley right over the escape route for best effect.

Not the sturdiest fence I've ever seen! But it kept those not-so-dumb sheep in until Frank came home and made a proper job of it.

So there you go... all my preconceived ideas about sheep have been blown out of the water. They're not dumb and they're not innocent.

I'm beginning to wonder if this was such a great idea after all.

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At 7:43 am, May 11, 2007, Anonymous Sandy said...

I think Blacky and Betsey are turning into hogs. You better be careful.

I wish I could have seen you hurding the sheep! Tiny you and four legged them would have been a sight to see!

At 9:57 am, May 11, 2007, Anonymous Leah said...

Hah! You are very patient, C! I think I would've given them away after they ate the strawberry plants...the things we endure for the love of critters, eh?!

At 9:58 am, May 11, 2007, Anonymous Leah said...

p.s. I am SO jealous! Homegrown zucchini sounds SOOOO good right now! MMmmmm.

At 10:01 am, May 11, 2007, Anonymous leah said...

p.p.s. Now I have The Messiah running through my head....Thanks a lot! ;)

At 12:54 pm, May 12, 2007, Blogger Lucidiocy said...

"Irish Smart"

At 2:42 pm, May 12, 2007, Blogger Cherie said...

Ha, yes, sheep.

You have had quite a little rodeo right there in your back yard, Cecily! Good story - reminded me of my grandpa and his sheep experiences, which are not unlike yours.

At 3:58 pm, May 13, 2007, Blogger Robyn said...

No lamb roast for dinner....?
Thats a pretty dodgy looking fence :)


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