Monday, July 19, 2010

Waifs and strays

This little, half-grown ewe lamb came to us back in April after we found her wandering up and down the road, looking for a way into where our sheep were. When I say "Came to us" I mean she sort of "Wanted to come into be fed with the others but didn't want any truck with humans so ran away whenever they approached."

She had to be rounded up using traditional methods, driven from behind rather than having a bucket of sheep nuts shaken at her. This was an interesting exercise, being carried out as it was by my lone self, assisted - or rather accompanied - by a beagle and a toy poodle, each of which had their own separate agendas. Eventually we got her into the garden and at least off the road. After some time crashing up and down the creek bed I - at not inconsiderable risk - left the gate to the bachelor boys' yard open and left them to charm her into their lair. This was in the pre-Wilber days, so no ram would molest her, but Gimli and Elrond might possibly have felt a little gardening was in order and come out instead. By some minor miracle this did not happen and they fell in love with her and offered her lunch. Elrond in particular followed her everywhere. She settled down and made herself at home.

She is a coloured Dorper/Damara cross. The only people with those around here are our next door neighbours who actually live about 2 km away. He was away but she came, saw and said "Nope, not ours," so it was down to catching the wild sheep to read her ear tag. Three days later we did and lo! Same next door neighbours' tag. It's true that she is unusual, the rest of their sheep actually look like goats, (but don't say that to the gentlemen shepherd of many, many years, he doesn't like that!) still she seemed a little miffed at not being recognised. Or perhaps at being carried bodily through the garden to the waiting trailer. Gimli was sad. Elrond was grief stricken. It took a whole day's sheep nuts to get them over her.

Earlier this week we saw her again. On a walk out with the dogs we check out all the neighbour's stock from the roadway and there she was, a little plumper, a little older, but the same girl, home with her flock.

...and with one new addition to it.