Most days I go outside to tend the animals and it's the same 'ole same 'ole. Then there are days where it's like a wild ride without the horse under me. This morning was the latter. It started out the same, putting my coveralls on over all my clothing layers, then my jacket, scarf, hat, waterproof garden gloves, winter work gloves, socks, wool socks, and boots. Yes, I like to layer. No, I don't have a problem moving my arms like that poor little boy stuffed into the red snow suit in the A Christmas Story movie. I dress for warmth and then peel off layers if I need to, which will be in late spring.
Anyhow, back to the story... I walked out to the red barn and heard this weird sound coming from the sheep stall. It was like something grating on metal. As I rounded the corner of the barn I saw Badge using his horns to lift the blue gate to the sheep stall up and out of it's holders. It was latched, and a board was across it, but Badge was determined. You see, love is in the air around here. We've separated several areas into little love abodes, some are making use of them, others aren't yet. There's a method to my breeding madness. Even so, Badge was bound to mess with my matchmaking. Too bad he forgot I always win.
So, I saw him lift that gate up with his horns and squeeeeze himself through the little opening he made. It was pretty amazing to see it happen so fast, and I can see the instant replay in my mind even now. Then it was utter chaos. There he was, running around like a randy teenager, lips peeled back, smelling and making pitiful sounds. The horses were having none of it, and chose to stay out of the chaos. The ewes who were waiting their turn to occupy the love abode with Little Man were not impressed with his jail break. They scattered and he gave chase. At that point I stopped, had a brief movie montage in my head of me, lasso in hand riding Rain into the fray...me, with the shepherd's crook in one hand, waving my cowboy hat with the other...you get the picture. Then I snapped out of it and was back in the moment!
Due to the wild ride I went on with Rain some time ago, which is another story in itself, I chose the crook, a tempting sheep treat, the horse stall, and the reluctant enlistment of Eldest and Kid. Cowboy hat was in the house. They put treat in a few metal bowls to rattle around and make noise while we yelled, "Woolie treat, woolie treat!" Next thing you know, all of those ewes who were scattered around the field, running like maniacs, dead stopped. Their heads went up, their ears all swung their attention our way, and then it was a stampede. Okay, more like a staaaaayumpeeede, actually. Eldest and Kid ran those bowls into the horse stalls (because of Badge's sheep stall gate removal) and jumped up onto the railings to get out of the way. There they went...ewes running like lightning into the stalls to get to the treat. Then there came Badge, up the little hill, lips peeled back in a big grin, bringing up the rear. Have you ever seen that old Loony Tunes cartoon with the skunk, Pepe Le Pew, that skips and floats on air as he's chasing his love cat? That's what he reminded me of. He made his way into the stall with the ladies and that's when the real work began. Eldest manned the door, Kid was moral support, and I was in there with the crook, getting a hold of a ewe and taking her over to the gate to give her freedom. It was not an easy job, keeping my eye on Badge while freeing the other captives, but I got the job done. After they were all free I realized I should have kept Z and Dandy in there with him since they were his roommates until the breakout. Since Z is a carefree trusting soul, I was able to wrangler her back in easily, but Dandy wasn't going for it. Instead of running around the field like a maniac trying to get her, I decided to let Hon get her later. Why let him miss all the fun?
So, there you have it folks. A bit of a hectic morning here, but we've had chaos before. Badge has been re-wrangled back into the red barn and is looking at a solid door this time. Z's with him and Dandy is footloose and fancy free out in the pond pasture with the horses and the rest of the non-penned up ewes - until Hon gets home. Badge has tried his hand at escaping into the great ewes beyond, but we foiled his plans. He really is a good boy and his genetics have given us some fantastic lambs. It's just this time of year when love is hanging heavy in the air that he gets big ideas and forgets I'm the queen of this here farm. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals haven't figured that out yet. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm called Mom. Life is a comedy and I plan on documenting it.