"no sheep" claim at risk

We've got a lot of critters on the ranch. A lot of critters. When people ask me what we've got, I've often said, "everything but sheep." The conversation would go something like:

What kind of animals do you have?
Everything but sheep.
Do you have horses?
Yep.
Cattle?
Several.
Cats?
Five.
Goats?
Plenty of kids.
Chickens?
Roosters and eggs, too.
Sheep?
You weren't paying attention, I said "no sheep!"

Well, the current status quo is at significant risk of change. You might say it already has, but I have hope in inertia...

The other day, I stepped out onto the deck to survey the countryside, and I heard quite a commotion - horns honking and cars driving crazy down on the highway. This usually means that the neighbor's dog is running around, but not this time! This time, a flock of sheep was running down the westbound lane, heading for town! Since sheep don't often obey traffic signals, we jumped in the truck to give chase - there is no telling whether the sheep had insurance or not, and in California there are already too many uninsured drivers. We were soon joined by some of the neighbors who had been tending to their stock at feeding time, too. About a mile from town the sheep took a left, without signalling, across traffic and fled across a small creek. We ditched the trucks and took off on foot. After about a half-hour we had firmly established these facts:

  • sheep don't pay attention to traffic or traffic laws

  • sheep are markedly faster than a bunch of old men

  • it sure would be nice to have a few more fences in the neighborhood

Finally, about an hour later, we were able to shuffle them into a backyard which had a fence with a gate. It wasn't a sheep-proof fence, but the sheep didn't seem to know that at first. So, we just didn't tell them that they could sneak out between the rails. We ran back home, hooked up the stock trailer and collected them. We thought that they belong to one of the neighbors further up the road, but they denied this. We tried to get the sheep to confess, but they refused to talk without proper counsel present. So we threw them in jail. Ok, it isn't a proper jail, just a sheep-escape-proof pasture.

Meanwhile, we've been looking for their rightful owners. We've placed a found ad in the local newspaper and have asked everyone we know for Bo Peep's address, to no avail. If they are your sheep, please come get them, I need to keep my "no sheep" exclaimation intact.



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