It was rodeo-day here at Wing and a Prayer Farm yesterday. Daisy is the wariest of my three ewe lambs and believe me when I tell you I tried everything to catch her out of the ram pen which she had decided would be a fun hangout for the afternoon. Though Gandalf and Yogi, Obaamaa & Iglesias were all willing to climb into my lap, more or less, she would have nothing to do with me and so it put me in the position of pursuing her. And that, if you understand sheep, is never an easy game.
Sheep have interesting and speedy moves, inventing half-pipe maneuvers long before skateboards and snowboards were invented. Multiply that times 5 sheep in a triangular enclosed pasture and it adds up to me having to adopt interesting and speedy moves myself. I spent a long time trying to fetch Daisy-darling, but when all else failed, I knew there was that lasso of Char’s hanging up in the hayloft.
It’s not everyday that I throw a lasso. You may or may not know by now that Wonder Woman was one of my heroines growing up and I practiced my “Oh Mighty Isis!” cry before my descent from the hayloft, just in case I would transform into a supersuit. Stumbling back into the pasture, I announced “O.k.! You win. This is what I am reduced to”, and raised my arms with the rope dangling.
I had to practice a bit, first, and the sheep were very amused. They came over to sniff the rope, to paw at it and make me feel incredibly awkward. It was as if they knew I didn’t know what I was doing. I tried to appear experienced and talked to them all along, like I wasn’t going to hurt anyone and it was just a rope and see how it moved and don’t worry…all that. But by that time, they’d given me a complex and I knew that I’d never handled a lasso for real. Sure, there were games in the loft in which we took turns lassoing a broomstick planted in a hay bale and I had watched Linda Evans capture missiles on t.v., but this attempt with running, twisting, bounding live targets was a first for me. I was doomed to embarrassment and the sheep were in for a good laugh.
Video of this event might have us all in stitches, but in the end, I got the lamb. I think that she was so distracted by my pursuit that she lost a bit of her edge. She spent a little time figuring out what I was doing in addition to her getaway moves and that is where I got her. I took advantage of a pause and with a well-timed toss, cinched her right around the middle. Yes, I’m so good that I was able to lasso her over her head and front legs and harness her like a reindeer. As soon as she felt the rope she stopped and collapsed as though mortally wounded. Sheep behave that way sometimes, they can be very dramatic. That made collecting her up in my arms as easy as cradling a baby and I promptly transferred her to the pasture she belonged in, locking the gate securely.
Party’s over, Daisy!
- Sheep in the rural landscape (stevemarshallphotographer.wordpress.com)
- Butser livestock (qecp.wordpress.com)
- New Guy on The Farm (therealowner.com)