… that one of the signs of having lived in the country too long was no longer worrying about your neighbours’ sheep. However, we found out on Sunday that this doesn’t extend to when you find them in your own garden, even once your garden has reached the stage where having sheep in it is likely to reap a net benefit, assuming they eat weeds and non-weeds in roughly equal quantities.
This sheep – spotted by the other half slinking behind the woodshed – was an unusually chilled one, adjusted for being a sheep. Having ushered it out of the flower bed, it trotted out of the yard and onto the road where, it being dusk, I worried it was likely going to form a bit of a traffic hazard. Fortunately it seemed to know where it was going, headed straight to the gate of the field opposite and limboed back in, which is a bit of an acheivement for a sheep because normally getting them back into a field they’ve been perfectly capable of getting out of is as difficult as getting an insect to fly through the open half of a window. Closer inspection showed that the gate was broken and the bottom bar had been torn away by a large rock, leaving a temptingly sheep-sized hole.
It is another sign that you have lived in the country too long, that you have in one of your many sheds numerous lengths of binder twine that you have found lying on the road when you’re out on your bike and picked up and kept in case they come in useful (OK, maybe that really is just me). And it turns out that one of the things that lengths of binder twine come in useful for is creating a nice hand-woven anti-sheep barrier on a broken gate which, so far at least, seems to have kept the sheep where they belong, assuming I have remembered how to tie my knots correctly (and if I have, such is the permanence of temporary solutions, that I fully expect it to still be there in spring).
Binder twine – the duct tape of the rural world?