Today I had to meet a client in a rural part of our county. In fact, the house is located on the estate of a working farm and when I drove up to the small winding road that would take me to the house, the gates to the road were closed.
Never mind. I simply opened the gates and drove through with nary a thought. I was admiring the lush, green hills and the spring blossoms along the way when my eye spotted a man with a border collie and a whole band of sheep and little lambs. A woman was waving her arms about and she approached my car and said, “did you close the gates?” and I smiled and shook my head…”Nope,” I cheerfully piped, at which point the woman said, “shit.” She asked me to get out of the car and “stand right there and don’t let the sheep go that way” as she pointed a stick in the opposite direction. Then she took off running up the road and the mama sheep and the little lambs came pouring out of the field with the border collie behind them and the farmer waving his arms about and every now and then grabbing a sheep by a tuft of wool and helping it to find its way through the gate. They were off! They ran bleating up the road with their babies in tow and there I stood in the midst of the flock waving my arms and dancing a little jig to keep them from going the wrong way.
When the sheep were safely in the adjacent field the farmer’s wife and I had a good laugh together and she explained sheep behaviour and movement. I commented on the skill of the border collie.
“Oh him. Yeah. He’s not even trained. He doesn’t know what he’s doing but he knows he’s supposed to do something and we let him come with us because it makes the sheep think twice before running off.”
So that was the start of my day. Me in high heels and an incompetent border collie helping the farmer and his wife herd sheep along a country road in England. Who would have thunk it?