We had the oddest thing happen the other day. We’ve had the sheepies out working the side of driveway, all 800 feet long of it. It’s a really narrow strip, probably 12 feet wide. They do a great job on all the brambles and brush, and it’s one of the reasons we got them in the first place.
Frank had gone down early in the day with the weed-whacker, to cut down some of the trees that were too big for them to walk down themselves, and all was well. When he went out in the early afternoon to get the mail and pick of the pig slop bucket from the cafe, he noticed that an entire panel in the electronet was missing. Not pushed down, not dangling, but completely gone. The remaining pieces next to the missing panel looked like they’d been cut, with scissors or something, quite evenly.
The sheep, of course, were no where to be found. He came back up to get me, told me to grab my camera. It was so strange. That panel was just completely gone, and we couldn’t find it anywhere around, which you think would happen if either the sheep pushed it through in a mad mob dash to freedom, or if a large animal from the outside pushed in. It really looked like it had been cut off, rather cleanly.
We found a few lambs at the end of the driveway, happily eating away, so we went down the road a bit to see if we could find the rest of the flock. Sure enough, two doors down, the sheep were happily grazing in their yard. I stupidly hadn’t brought the Red Scoop of Joy or the crook, we we had to go back up to the house to grab those. I was going to need something good to bring them off that fresh pretty grass and garden! I got a bucket with a couple of scoops of grain in it, and the scoop, and rushed back.
Bringing them home was actually pretty easy. I call out “Come on, girls. (clap clap clap) Let’s go home.” Then I rattle the grain, do a little banging of the scoop in the bucket. Actually, I do that when I move any of the critters. Come on, piggies. (clap, clap, clap) Come on, chickies. Come on, pup pup. Everyone calls out when I clap my hands, and they all chat back to me, as well. Baaa! Baaa! The poor little ones in the back sounded like petulant children in the back of a car. Very whiny as they got more and more tired. I’m tired! Are we there yet? Come on. I want to stop and eat! Look, shiny! I call out loudly to encourage them. Come on, girls! (Even though most of the lambs are boys this year. Oops.)
So that wasn’t bad, getting them back in or anything. It never really is. Keeping them in is harder, and what had happened to that fence panel? We were trying to decide if we should call the town cop. Had kids been bored on the way to school? That didn’t make sense, though, because this was mid-day, and Frank had seen them all fine this morning. Plus, the kids around us are pretty cool. I couldn’t imagine any of them being ornery like that.
Sheep thieves? That seemed really unlikely, since all the sheep were accounted for. There are days lately where I wish for someone to come steal them away, with all the fence busting that’s been going on this summer. (Okay, not really. Sort of.)
Aliens? A big stag or bear or something? Coyotes that cleaned up after themselves? Nothing really made sense.
Then we got a phone call from the place where we get our grain. Their delivery guy had made a delivery to us around lunch time. When he got back to the shop, he noticed the electronet fencing on the back of his truck. It looks like he must have clipped it when he was leaving, and didn’t notice it.
Aha! Mystery solved. Whew!