July 11, 2011


Saturday afternoon started out lovely. Desiree, our farm sitter, came over to run through the motions before we go on our annual vacation to the lake. She brought her two kids Riley and Julian. I'm not sure what it is about the basic act of gathering eggs, but kids just love it. Riley grabbed two that had been laid that morning and proceeded to carry both around as we visited the other animals. They also go to see how you place a rubber band on the lambs tails to make the tail fall off. (Riley still holding the eggs.) Then I asked Desiree if would be willing to help us move the sheep around in the pastures. She was up for the task, probably because she had no idea what a chaotic event it would be. The kids hung out on the swing set.

Pasture moving is always a bit crazy. The first step was for Jeremy to distract Junior and lead him down the fence while I ran and shut him in the front pasture. Then I opened the pole barn, where we would move the ladies. Next, we had to get Francis and two "stupid" sheep to come out of a small gate and across the driveway. We positioned Desiree at the downward side of the driveway to keep them from making a jail-break for the road. I took some oats and enticed Francis to follow me, hoping the two "stupid" sheep would follow her. I was half successful. Francis and Stupid Sheep #1 went to the pole barn. Stupid Sheep #2 freaked being left alone and panicked, running back and forth bahhing frantically, but not going through the gate to join her friends. Jeremy and I were trying to coax #2 towards the gate. Meanwhile, Francis and #1 were bored waiting for me to let them onto the back pasture and decided the grass along the yard looked tasty. Desiree hollered - "Mindy, the sheep are headed towards the house." I took off running just as the sheep reached the garage. (They nibbled on the roses and lilies along the way.) I swung around the cars and shooed Francis and #1 back down to the pole barn. They got a full bowl of oats to keep them in place for a few minutes.

Jeremy decided the best we could do was to corner and grab Stupid Sheep #2 and carrier her down to the pole barn. #2 weighs about 100 lbs.

We closed in around her, while she continued to panic. She made for the gap between us, jumping 5 feet off the ground. Jeremy also jumped and grabbed her, mid-air. The both came down and rolled, but Jeremy kept a hold of her. He popped up, lifted and bear hugged her, all four legs sticking straight out, and walked her over to the pole barn. Guess Jeremy's high school football skills still have a functional application, other than being able to explain all plays during a game on TV.

The rest of the moving was uneventful. Junior was "walked" to his pasture without incident, although I did give Desiree a pole as a weapon in case he got free and charged her. Notag/Bo and Lilly/Spot were so excited to leave the barn, they hopped and sprang to the pasture. Done!

Just before they left, Riley did drop one of the eggs in the driveway. I'm surprised it lasted that long. She was sad. Julian asked if we left it on the rocks would it fry (not at 80 F). I told them the truth - that night a rat would come out and eat it. The other egg got to go home with Riley. They will get lots more while they farm sit.

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