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
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...