March 14, 2010

Essence of Sheep

September 2009

Got to work this morning and realized I smelled like wet sheep. Not surprising ,the morning I had.

Mornings are crazy. Wake up - shower, dress, make-up, remind Jordan to brush her teeth, breakfast (most important meal of the day), backpack, keys, out the door within an hour - let the chickens out the coop, toss 'em some scratch, give the sheep oats - Jordan on the school bus and me off to work. There is no time for any "problems".

7:30am knock on the front door, which is really strange when you live in the country and generally means something is wrong. It was Lola. Eric and Lola are our neighbors across the driveway. Eric has lived here for at least 30 years. The first week we were in our place our waterline broke. At 9pm Eric drove past Jeremy on the side of the driveway, knee deep in mud. Eric rolled down his window and asked what happened, then drove on to his house. 15 minutes later he was back, in work clothes, with a shovel and said "Bet you'd like to have water in the morning." Good neighbors are priceless!

So Lola was at the door. She said that one of the sheep was out down by the road. She wanted to stay to help but was late for work. I said no problem, Jordan and I could handle it.

We ran down the driveway - a sheep in the road could be bad, for the sheep and the car that might hit it - in full work regalia, including black pumps. One of the yearlings was out; she had pushed under the fence (because the grass is always greener). She wanted back in with the herd and was making a lot of noise - baaaaing at the top of her lungs. The others were ignoring her and just grazing about.

I asked Jordan to stand near the road and be big - arms and legs out - while I approached from the other side, slowly and saying, "It's just me. I want to help you get back in. Don't panic." (I think I was saying it to me more than to the sheep.)

Patches, that's the sheep so named because of the brown-colored fur around her eyes, started pacing. She jerked toward Jordan, who some how got bigger - good girl! Patches jerked back towards me. I pounced and caught her. Now what?! Over the fence? Better than trying to carry the 60 lb sheep back up the driveway to the gate (note to self - a gate down by the road may be in order.)

I told Jordan to help me get Patches' legs over the fence so we wouldn't get tangled up. I heaved, Jordan pushed legs over and dropped her on the other side. Patches was a little jolted. I swear she glared at me like this was all my fault but turned and, very nonchalantly, started nibbling some grass like it was just another morning.

Jordan's coat and backpack, of course, where back up at the house. We started jogging up the driveway and heard the school bus drive past. Fantastic.

I dropped Jordan off at school and raced for I-5. Got to work 15 minutes late - not bad. I rushed to a meeting, sat down, took a deep breath and noticed the faint smell of wet sheep. Great!

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