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.