Sunday, January 1, 2012

Okay, so it's going to be one of *those* kind of years...

It all started innocently enough.  Madman was out of town (we'd been invited to friends' for a New Year's Eve party, but since I had to work, he'd gone by himself - hours away, so he'd stayed overnight.), so I did morning chores.  All quiet on the critter front.
I got ready for work and headed out to the car.  Goldie was blatting up on the hill, but she's always blatting, so I was ignoring her.  ("Hey!  Mama!  Hungry sheep up here!  We haven't had grain in at least half an hour!  Hey!")
But as I was starting the car, it started to sink in that she wasn't blatting "I'm hungry" - it was her "OMG, it's the End of the World!!!!" blatt.
I looked up the hill toward the sheep pen.
There was a sheep outside the pen.
And the gate was flat to the ground.
Orion, our newest sheep, our new little expensive registered ram, was outside the fence.  Standing in the garden.  Our new little difficult-to-catch-because-he's-sweet-but-dumber-than-a-box-of-rocks sheep is standing in the garden, and I need to leave for work right now, and I don't have time to deal with this.


Or words to that effect.  I may have been a little more vehement.

I sprinted up the hill, through the snow, in my running shoes, because after all, I was ready to go to work, so naturally I would have my work shoes on.  My worn work shoes with very little tread left on them.  Because I thought I was just going to go get in my car and head for work.


Naturally, as I scrambled up the hill through the snow, Orion dimly realized that he might have done something wrong.  He headed off around the pen, just in case he was in trouble.
I slowed down, trying to exude calm.  "Orion...  Come here, sweetie...  Let's go back in the nice pen.  There's a good boy..."


I grabbed the Big Blue Bucket that we feed him his grain in, opened the can we keep the grain in, and scooped some in for him.  While I was at it, I scooped some grain into the other sheeps' dish as well, just in case they were getting any crazy ideas about joining Orion in his adventure.  (They were still inside the pen, mostly staring wild-eyed and appalled at Orion.  "We're being good, Mama.  See how good we're being?  Not naughty like him.  Aren't we good, Mama?" )
I shook the bucket to make the grain rattle, trying to entice the little jackass sweetie to come closer.
He wasn't buying it.  I don't know if he sensed a trap, or if he was just too dumb to make the connection between the sound of grain rattling in the bucket and 'hey, I could be eating grain.'
I advanced a few steps, and retreated a few steps, trying to get him to follow the bucket.  He did, but when he was almost within reach, he bolted again.
Lather, rinse, repeat.  Finally, I lured him close enough to grab hold of a horn.

I'm very glad we raise Shetlands, which are very small sheep.  Because a really big sheep would have dragged me even further through the snow than Orion did.

I was desperately trying to keep my feet under me, while he was backing up at a pretty good clip, shaking his head all the way.
He totally ignored me as I tried to explain that I really didn't have time for this.
I finally dug in enough to slow him down, and then inch-by-inch dragged him toward the still-open gate.  One last Herculean effort, using the gatepost for leverage, and I got him back inside.

A couple of minutes that I couldn't spare were consumed in Emergency Gate Repairs, and I was finally off to work - out of breath and my shoes full of snow.

Yep.  Gonna be one of those years...


Missouristar said...

Your life is such an adventure! When I started spinning, hubby made me promise "no sheep!". I guess he was right.

Anna M said...

Now you might be wishing for Breton Dwarf Sheep. You could have chucked one of those OVER the fence.

Glad they are okay.

kmkat said...

Perhaps a stainless steel fence, 8 feet tall, with a stainless steel gate, all attached to stainless steel fence posts sunk into 48" concrete footings is what you need. I'm sure you could pick one up at Wal*Mart for well under, um, $10,000.

Bullwinkle said...

Begin as you'd like to continue ...

I think you get a pass - you were on track; Orion, not so much. Well, he may like to continue that way but I'm sure you can out-smart him. You've got all year ;)

p.s. omg ... my word verification is "leadme"

Laurie said...

Oh those shoes. Oh that ram. Oh wow. I just can't imagine. How do you explain this to the boss? Not Madman....the Other Boss.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

I'm sorry.. I can't stop laughing...

Winterhart said...

Oh, dear! Silly sheep...!

Perhaps 2012 is trying to throw you one of those "If you eat a live frog every morning, nothing worse can happen to you for the rest of the day!" sort of deals?

Cookie said...

Thank goodness he's not smarter. o.O


Joansie said...

Cute story! Reminds me of the time my daughter's gigantic pig got loose as we were leaving for a craft show. We enticed it back into the pen with apples but everyone one now needed to change their clothes or smell like pig except me as I was tending to the baby who now needed a diaper change. All said and done, we got back into the car and there was "Margaret" again, loose from her pen...repeat, rewind.