Lots of planning is being called for this week. I am having to do a great deal of thinking, chewing an inordinate number of pencils in the process.
Polly – deputy Shepherd- now called Dep Shep for short – came home after a walk and announced she had saved a sheep – one of ours with her head through the fence onto the road – which has given me great cause for thought and no little concern. It is a thing of great carelessness on the part of my sheep, and I can’t help thinking that Mr Scott the Scot, my Health and Safety hero, would consider it part of our remit to bring attention to such dangers and in no time he would have dreamt up a solution.
So this is my plan – admittedly still in the embryo stage and possibly relying more than I would like upon the weather. I am going to call an Extraordinary General Flock Meeting, which is something I have long wanted to do, at which I will give a presentation using not only my trusty clipboard, but a whiteboard and a laser light pointy thingy. I can draw many pictures of obstacles and potential dangers about the farm, maybe adding actual photos if I can work out how to do it, and hopefully impress on the ewes, – especially on Blindy and Greedy who are the old but still intelligent flock elders – the ways and means of firstly avoiding them, and second firstly, advice on how to get out of situations if found to be inadvertently floundering about not knowing what to do.
Potential dangers – I wish Mr Scott was here so I could consult with him. He seems to know so many more dangers than I can imagine…..I fear I might miss something, but that is no reason not to start.
- ‘Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’, very tricky especially if the gate is shut and there is a fence between. It is not a clever move to get head caught in a fence – as Polly – Temp Dep Shep – will not always be about to mount a rescue. ‘Be happy with what you’ve got’ is my advice.
- Following strange sheep through holes or gaps in a fence is equally full of potential danger. As is talking to infiltrating sheep of any sort, tribe or connection – this should be avoided for fear of political cross contamination (I read that somewhere and it sounds pretty dangerous to me)
- jumping, leaping, plunging down slopes, talking while walking and not paying attention, head-butting except in extremis, squabbling over food and all other unfriendly confrontations is to be considered unconstitutional behaviour (I read that too) and can lead to Health and Safety issues.
So I intend to suggest that should any of our carefully counted flock find themselves in any of the above situations, they should firstly send telepathic messages to me or to Skye and await rescue. Should this fail after ten minutes or so they should try yelling. I found myself not long ago shut in the stable, nobody having noticed I was busy mousing, – this was before the time when I realised I had to make a pest plan map – and I had to spend ten minutes on telepathy which usually works, before giving up and howling like a banshee………most embarrassing, but sometimes necessary. At my presentation I intend to demonstrate this way of drawing attention and will have them practise until I am sure they have got the hang of it.
There. That is a start. Not actually raining at the moment so I shall get outside and do a quick check on things……(and spend a penny or two while I am out) …………..I will be back……later when there is more to report, I expect……..
(Dad and Mum then left for a few days to see Nana Lena in Spain, leaving Giz and Skye, OC and all the sheep in the kind and loving care of Polly, the Temporary Deputy Shepherd and Nick who excellently fulfilled his role as chef and chief advisor)
Later – in fact much later….
Report compiled by excellent Deputy Shepherd Polly:
Well, Gizzy has continued to think deeply about this whole ‘sheep stuck in the fence’ situation….and in the end she had a quiet word in my ear while we were cwtched up on the couch watching Miss Fisher solve another murder.
She said she has decided that she would really rather have some photographic evidence to append to her report. It’s not that she doesn’t believe me – she knows full well that I am simply not clever enough to tell a lie and get away with it – she is just worried about what Mr Scott the Scot would say when she submits it for his comments, seeing as he doesn’t know me like she does. So I promised her I would do my best, but that I doubted whether I could persuade any of the sheep to stick their heads back in the fence for me, so she would probably have to be satisfied with woolly evidence if I can find some.
So this is the picture I have shown her….. unfortunately she was a little snooty about it at first, so we will just have to see whether upon due consideration it will be enough to satisfy her.
Polly, ( temporary deputy shepherd)
Next day – further report from Temp Dep Shep:
Of course Gizzy, being a most thorough and conscientious manager, after pondering overnight, she decided that she had to inspect the fence herself, so off we went again! And when we got there, not being able to persuade any sheep to oblige with the head through the fence thing again, the only course of action was for Gizzy to attempt to recreate the incident herself. She did quite a good job, although her legs were predictably not long enough to reach exactly the same part of the fence. She did notice, however, that this is clearly not a one-off as there was telltale woolly evidence of previous occurrences!
The general meeting is suddenly a matter of urgency!
Temp Dep Shep, xxx