The sheep, that is.
Madman made a big push and got the new pen for the sheep ready to go. They've comsumed most of what was edible in the old pen, and it was time to move them.
In order to get them from the old pen (in the front "yard") to the new pen (back behind the house, next to the garden), we had to capture them one at a time, and pull-push-carry them around the house, up the hill, and into the new pen.
The Bitch: Goldie had to be first. She's the biggest, the oldest, the stubbornest, the orneriest, and the most skittish. If we had started grabbing the youngsters first, she would have had a meltdown and been impossible to catch.
Madman lured her to him with a cup of grain, while I waited out of sight. (She still gets nervous if she can see both of us at once...) As soon as he got hold of her, I ran up, opened the gate, let him and Goldie out, then got the gate closed before the little ones could escape.
All hell broke loose, of course. Goldie was frantic over the idea of leaving her flock. She bucked and blatted and threw a fit. Meanwhile, the little ones were frantic, too - they added their panicky blatts to Goldie's, which made her even crazier. Madman held on for dear life, pushing her up the hill to the new pen. I got the gate locked down, then barreled after them, to help close the gate once we got Goldie inside.
Then I stood guard on Goldie while Madman went back for Onyx, and it was a good thing I did, since Goldie tried everything but tunneling to get back to the little ones. While still blatting at the top of her lungs, of course.
The Brat: Onyx had to be second, because she would have jumped the fence if Merlin had gone before her, and who knows how long she would have made us chase her. She has a nasty sense of humor... She's the smallest of the three, so Madman scooped her up and carried her, while she shimmied and blatted into his ear. I was the gatekeeper - holding it open long enough for Madman to stuff her into the pen, then slamming it shut before Goldie could get out.
The Buddy: Merlin has handles. He also sincerely wanted to be with the other sheep. Madman grabbed a horn and a handful of butt wool, and walked him up the hill. We popped him right in, and suddenly it got quiet...
Goldie took a look around. Hey, this is a nice place! Lots of room, lots of grass, a view of the neighbor's boat...
Everyone settled down to a nice lunch.
Goldie even took a moment to come over and say thank you, then they all went back to eating.
But Merlin isn't one to pass up an opportunity to be sociable.
He sang for joy -
then kissed my hand.
Then we had a quick round of Peek-a-Boo.
He's such a sweetie, that little guy.
And I just had to share this - there was talk a while back of Merlin being a lap sheep. Well, he almost is.
Madman went out and sat in the pen a few evenings ago, talking to the sheep. Merlin came running over, and layed down between his legs.
I looked out the window, and this is what I saw...