Happy 13: Sheep Herding

When I was a little girl, we used to rent a place called Sky Farm Cottage in the summer. The word "cottage" is probably misleading. While true that the place was dwarfed by the giant rambling yellow fortress that comprised Sky Farm, the five bedroom Victorian we stayed in was hardly humble. The dishes were real china and the utensils actual silver, we had private access to a beach, a flourishing vegetable garden grown just for ambiance and views of the sunset over the ocean so beautiful that we used to applaud them.

As a child, I didn't understand our good fortune, I had little to compare it to, so it simply seemed normal.  However at age seven I was old enough to know that flying sheep via helicopter every year to an island, simply because their presence made the scenery quaint, required the sort of affluence few people can ever hope to enjoy and that these sheep were in a way more a symbol of wealth and power than a Tiffany diamond ring, but that didn't stop me from wanting to jump in the pen and pet them like common petting zoo beast. I never did, of course, though one day I was finally given opportunity to get close to them.


It was a warm July day like any other. Me, Beck, Jenn and our crazy friend Cassie were all walking barefoot down the long private road that lead from the house to the town dock and, if you followed it far enough, town. Suddenly we found ourselves surrounded by milling sheep. Someone must have forgotten to shut the gate and the critters were wandering aimlessly in the road. Aside from cars and poachers, there weren't a lot of threats on the island to a sheep, but it still didn't seem prudent to leave the wooly beasts wandering around, especially if they got off the private section of road and into real traffic, so we did the logical, we herded sheep.

Like many of our other escapades, Cassie was the ring leader, running alongside them screaming, heedless of the filthy ground. They'd panic and try to head in the other direction at which point Beck would shoo them back towards whence they'd come. This is how we steered them into the barn. Jenn and I brought up the rear, trying to navigate the poop laced road, making sure the slow pokes didn't try to head off in some other direction. We succeeded in guiding them into the barn and corralled most of them with relative ease. One silly sheep went the wrong way and Cassie had to chase him all around the lily pond, finally herding the now crazed beast back into the barn. Not having had enough, Cassie then jumped the fence and tried to cuddle the increasingly wild eyed sheep. They didn't like that. 


It's been over two decades since the saving of the sheep, but I always remember it fondly. That day at age 7 I felt like a hero who did what needed to be done. I helped save the sheep.