Thursday, July 31, 2008
Hopes Of A Lazy Day.......Turn Into A Sweaty Day
Well, I'm sure glad I was off work today, because I see that the sheep have figured out that there is no electric on the fences at the moment. Not on their pasture, nor on the horses fencing. My ram Jack, (short for Jacked Up Ass) has had a running love affair with my Morgan mare since he was a lamb. He was raised on the same pasture as her, and has always considered her his BF. Bobby has been lame about getting another box to replace the one hit by lightening, so I knew it would only be a matter of time before they figured it out. And, when I stepped out this afternoon to see why the dogs were raising such a fuss out in their kennels, I saw the last remaining lamb jump the fence to join the others in the horse pasture. In this instance, the grass really is greener and theres more of it, on the other side. Oh great. Almost 5 acres of pond and grass land and woods. I'm sure it was Jack's idea to go over, and everyone else, being the sheep that they are, just followed. Bruin was looking pretty perplexed about what to do, standing there at the fence looking at his fleeing flock. I stood on the porch wondering what to do about this. I had thought to put the sheep in with the horses awhile back, theres a lot in their pasture that they wont eat, but that the sheep will, but the horses are only behind 2 strand electric wire, which the sheep could easily go through if they wanted, so opted to leave them in their pasture. Since they have removed that "option" I was stuck trying to decide on what I should do. They certainly weren't hurting anything at the moment and could in fact take care of eating the weeds and stuff that the horses were ignoring, so I opted to leave them there for a bit. It was to hot even if I did want to send Lex off for them at the moment. So, I went out and got Bruin and brought him inside to spend the heat of the day with me. He kept stopping and looking back while I was taking him towards the house, nervous that his sheep weren't where they were suppose to be. How do you tell a Guardian Livestock Dog that his sheep trust the horses as much as they do him to look after them? Once he got into the air conditioned house and onto the cool linoleum floor with his favorite cow hoof, all thoughts of his sheep diminished.
An hour later, my neighbor Joy calls. She was coming from her chicken houses and see's sheep scattered all over the horse pasture and is concerned that they shouldn't be there. I invited her over ( after of course she showered and got all the chicken shit off her) for gossip and tea, and we took a walk back out later to check on the sheep. Which are nowhere to be seen. So we walked down to the wooded part and there were the sheep. Well, at least some of the sheep. After searching the entire pasture, we found that 3 sheep, a ewe and 2 of her lambs, and decided to expand their horizons and wander over to Joys property over by her pond. Hmmmm. Not good. At this point I'm thinking is it best to go get a dog and bring them back home? Hope they will miss the flock and rejoin them? Its still to damned hot to want to do anything. The walking around just to find the sheep had us both soaked and ready to go back inside. I wouldn't trust any of my other dogs to go get them, and I just wasn't willing to sacrifice Lex to the heat of having to go get a ewe and lambs on unfamiliar territory and with that big pond I could just see them running and falling into it. But I wasn't comfortable leaving them there either. Enter bucket O grain. Now I don't care what time of the day it is, sheep have good hearing, and they can hear me open the tack room from a mile away. They know that's where the grain is kept, and they love them some grain. As I emerge from the tack shed, I hear the rest of the sheep coming out of the woods bahahhhhing all the way out, looking for the food lady with the grain. Now folks, you can say all you want about sheep being stupid, but Ive lived with them to many years now to be entirely convinced of this. Joy, Lex and I hopped in the truck, drove over to her place where the ewe and lambs were congregating by her pond and before I could step out of the truck and get the bucket O grain out of the bed, 3 sheep became 12. I left Joy and Lex in the air conditioned truck, and surveyed the situation. Lex must have been driving Joy nuts, as I could hear her "let me at em" barking over the diesel motor. So there I am standing looking at the sheep, and they are standing there looking at me. A Mexican stand off if you will. Now, I have several choices and must decide which would be the safest, quickest, most effective way to get the sheep back home. Send the dog and risk having drowned sheep or a heat stroke dog or both, play the Pied Piper and see if they'll follow me home for the grain (and they really do want it) wait till evening and see if they just come home on their own, or just shoot the lot of them where they stand and be done with it and go get back in the air conditioned truck, cause damn its hot out here! I think this last option just tells me Ive been living in the South just a tad to long and am starting to adapt to the southern ways. If it gives you any problems.....just shoot it! Joy however would never agree to allowing that to happen no matter how much mutton it put in her freezer. I shake the bucket to entice them to me. They start towards me, and I start walking away, only to stop 20 feet ahead and see that we are at a stale mate. They want proof of whats in the bucket. Bring us the grain in essence is what they are saying. OK, I'll give em a taste and they will just follow me home like good little sheep. Uh huh, yea right. Id be out of grain half way home at the rate they were wanting me to prove every 20 feet that I had what it takes to keep them following behind me. Well, at least they were away from the pond, and closer to home field, so sending Lex is becoming more of a less dangerous option. I go over to the truck and ask Joy to drive it home, only to find out Joy cant drive a stick shift. Oh Yea. What kind of farm girl are you!! At this point, I'm soaking in sweat, I'm getting pissed, and now I'm muttering ways I can kill my husband cause you know I blame this on him for being so lame and slow about replacing the box. I could have /would have gotten a box already, but nooooooo. He says let him get it at Lowes and he can use the company card to get one cheaper. So Ive had it. I leave the sheep where they are, pour out the rest of the grain to hold them there while I drive the truck back home. I get out of the truck at home, send Joy to go open the pasture gate and send Lex after the GODDAMMED SHEEP! She knows where they are, she knows where we left them. Some days I loath the fact that Lex has such huge outruns, but today it certainly came in handy. They didn't even know she was there until she was driving them home. Up the dirt road, across the front yard, and neatly and sweetly back in their pasture. Why I didn't do this earlier, is beyond me, live and learn. Joy and I got us another cold glass of tea, Lex got to cool off in the stock tank and come inside and cool off in the air conditioned house feeling triumphant, and Bru got his sheep back in their pasture where they belong. All in a days "Off work" I suppose.
And oh, husband called earlier, at a really bad time, while I was standing in the heat trying to figure out how to dispose of his body once I killed him for being so lame, and guess who is stopping by Lowes on his way home from work to pick up a new electric box!
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