Part One — Grandma’s Backyard

Frank’s mother, Ginny, has been terrified of animals her whole life. She worked as a home economics instructor for Detroit Edison, and often visited houses to teach women how to use electric ovens and do lighting plans. She said she dreaded going to houses with animals. She is very nervous even around our cat.

But she sure is interested in these sheep! She shreds paper for their bedding and brings up the bags. She saves the kitchen scraps that she knows they will like. In order to save some money, she asked if she could have a couple of them in her backyard, so she wouldn’t have to pay the kid across the street.

We took Sue and Raven down, set them up on the lushest grass they’d ever seen, and it worked out really well. For a while. Every time we passed through town, we always drove by to see how they were doing. Ginny kept them in water, and they didn’t need to be moved very often. Mostly, they laid around and ate treats from the neighborhood kids.

On a Tuesday night, we were heading in to town to play bridge, stopped and checked on everyone before we left around 6, and all was well. On our way home, I told Frank to swing around to do a drive-by, just in case, so we did. I’m not sure why I thought it would be the case, but the fence was down, and the two rams were no where to be found.

We weren’t sure if the neighborhood kids thought it would be funny, they’d been stolen (those were valuable rams! Probably worth $500 each), or if Sue had decided he was bored, or the battery failed, or what. It was almost midnight, the village was pitch black and quiet. Traipsing through backyards in search of them was going to wake up the dogs all over the village, which wasn’t going to make us very popular.

We walked around with flashlights, but had no luck, so I called the Mutual Aid number, and they called the town cop. He got up out of bed, and showed up at Grandma’s house. He said it looked like kids to him, and he knew which ones. On the way to the kid’s house, however, he found the two rams walking down NH Route 10, taking it easy.

He called Mutual Aid to report that he “had the suspects in custody”, which is what the dispatcher told me when he called my cell phone. Whew! Frank rushed home for the truck, I went down to the store.

Turns out he only had the suspects under observation. Sue came right up to me, because I might have had grain, after all. Raven was absolutely panicking, and it took us about 20 minutes for the three of us to capture him.

We figured out after that though the bee fence, which is shorter than the regular stuff, was evidently fine to hold him at our place at first, once he knocked it down at Grandma’s house, and it could never hold him again, after that.

We don’t risk using her backyard anymore, because she has no fencing at all. She likes being around the critters, but it is too much for her to check to see if the electric fence is still working.

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