Monday, October 8, 2012
All We Like Sheep
These are the sheep who graze literally right in my backyard. I've named them. From left to right - Mumford, Adele, Eponine, Liesl and Gretl. I can tell them apart because Liesl and Gretl are always together, Eponine is always on her own (haha hence the name) and Mumford and Adele usually stick close together. I was curious about these sheep. They are white with black faces. They're always out in the morning and more recently the afternoon. When I pass by them, they will stop chewing their cud and watch me walk past them. I kind of feel like we're friends.
So I googled "facts about sheep" today and found out some sad news: they are Suffolk sheep. And Suffolk sheep are used for meat. Which means, in a few weeks my sweet little sheep probably won't be out there anymore.
I continued reading more about sheep. We all know they are not the smartest animal in the world. Did you know they will not graze without another sheep present? If they can't see another sheep, they will start bleating until they find them. This happened this morning as I was getting ready. I looked outside and either Gretl or Liesl was bleating every other second. I saw her by herself, bleating at the fence. If she'd only turned around, she would have seen the other one right behind her. Again...not the smartest animal in the bunch.
Another sheep fact is that when one sheep starts walking to another part of the pasture, inevitably, the others will follow. Apparently back in 2006, this was the cause of death for an entire herd when one sheep led the flock off the side of a cliff and into a ravine. This is why sheep need a sheep dog or shepherd because without them they'd be lost.
Ever since I was a child, I'd heard the analogy of how people are just like sheep. After reading both of these examples, I can see why now we do need that gentle shepherd to lead us and guide us so that we don't fall into a ravine.
I'm still trying to concoct a way for my sheep not to be led to the slaughter. I'm taking it it's not a good sign that Mumford now has a yellow tag on his ear....