Good Deed for the Day

Despite worrying less about other people’s sheep these days, there are still some things I can’t ignore. Riding down to the papershop this morning in the calm before the deluge that arrived this afternoon, I noticed a sheep standing looking through a fence in a slightly strange manner. On my way back, it was still there, and I realised it had got its head stuck through the wire – so stuck that even the approach of the Dread Bicycle was not enough to dislodge it. Now while my putting-lambs-back-into-field skills are second to none, I draw the line at sheepectomies from wire fences so I rode on to the nearest farm to seek grown up assistance. After wandering around a particularly Marie-Celeste like farmyard – there was even an empty Land Rover with its engine still running – I finally scared up someone in overalls who looked approximately 12 (I thought it was policemen not farmers who were getting younger) and let him know the glad news and pedalled off, in the knowledge of a good deed well done.

Two thoughts did strike me on the way home, though. The first is why farmers insist on putting sheep in fields fenced with almost exactly sheep-head-sized wire mesh. Given the whole grass-is-greener situation, that must inevitably and regularly end in tears.

And the second thought was that I should probably have stuck around to see exactly how to remove a sheep from a wire fence, as I have absolutely no idea. I know with children and railings you are supposed to turn the child upside down, although thinking about it I have absolutely idea how that might help. Something to do with the ears, I suppose. But if I could add fence de-sheeping to my other skills, then I could become a truly useful member of rural society.

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10 Responses to Good Deed for the Day

  1. Charles says:

    Sorry got to tell someone, caught my first salmon today!!?

    Sheep can get stuck in anything, so I suppose the farmers put something obvious there for them to get stuck in, rather than having to pull them out of a tree, or something. Sheep are well known for their suicidal tendenciesBY THE WAY I CAUGHT A SALMON. PUT IT BACK AS WELL.

  2. disgruntled says:

    Are you saying that you caught a salmon by any chance?

  3. misspiggy says:

    Your last two paragraphs made me laugh a lot. I’d never thought of sheep as being affected by grass-is-greener syndrome, but on reflection it must be their main motivator…

  4. CJ says:

    I think you’re supposed to butter children as well. I’m not sure that lightly greasing a sheep would help though.

  5. disgruntled says:

    @misspiggy – I’d have thought sheep invented it…
    @CJ – now that makes more sense than turning them upside down.

  6. Bob says:

    Many, MANY decades ago, our family used to keep sheep. The common knowledge was, “You need walls twelve feet high, lathed and plastered” to keep them in.
    Unfortunately, as sheep are inherently dumb, if one manages to find a way to get completely out, the rest will follow. At least “your” sheep only had its head stuck. Silly bugger.

  7. disgruntled says:

    yeah but I can get them back into fields, I can’t get them out of fences… (funny how sheep are so clever at getting out of things but so stupid at getting back in)

  8. babymother says:

    1) “The first is why farmers insist on putting sheep in fields fenced with almost exactly sheep-head-sized wire mesh. Given the whole grass-is-greener situation, that must inevitably and regularly end in tears.” This was Town Mouse genius – best turn of phrase of the year… 2) Never mind learning how to de-fence a sheep. I spent my shepherdess days (I was a shepherdess, you know! although I’ve never caught a salmon, or put one back) worrying that I would have to put my penknife through a sheep’s ribcage to let out all the built-up gas if it had eaten too much clover. In the event, when one of my sheep did eat too much clover I didn’t notice until it was dead, so no penknife needed. (Now, instead, I worry about having to perform impromptu tracheotomies on suffocating peanut-allergic children :-() 3) With the childhood obesity pandemic, it’s getting harder to turn children upside down, especially when they’re buttered.

  9. disgruntled says:

    @Babymother – I hope you have the penknives firmly locked away; sounds like a good way to turn a mild crisis into a disaster…

  10. […] have had occasion to wonder in the past why farmers put sheep in fields with fences that have holes which are temptingly just big enough […]

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