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Gathering and UnGathering

I was solemnly thinking about how much I miss my sheep and lambs. I sold them last year for a number of reasons, most of which don’t seem to matter much now. The point is that I miss them. It got me to thinking about some of the sheep I’ve gathered, and ungathered, over the years and how frustratingly fun they were, EXCEPT for the Jacob sheep. If you’ve ever had Jacobs, or know anything about them, then you know what I mean. The rams have four (yes, four) horns. AND, they know how to use them. Two are large and curve backwards beautifully. Two are smaller and sort of in-between the bigger ones, sort of.

The key to the difference in Jacob sheep is the fact that they don’t limit their encounters with you to pushing, ramming, or knocking you over. Any other breed of rams I’ve had in the past have always been straight forward. They ram you, knock you down and leave you alone unless you try to get up. Trust me on this. I’ve not only seen it I’ve experienced it. Crawling unobtrusively to the fence line is an art form that really doesn’t take long to develop.

OK, so I’m enjoying this small flock of Jacobs that someone gave me. Yeah, gave me. Who gives away sheep? I’ll tell you who, someone who knows what that ram can, and will, do.

So I saunter on out into their pasture a week or so later. My cow dog, Cheetah, was busy sorting road apples so wasn’t focused on me communing with sheep. Something made me turn around to find myself being stared down by an awfully big Jacob ram. I went into Zen mode, thought of their biblical origins, and smiled at him giving him that, “aren’t you a sweet boy” tilt of the head.

That charge is forever burned into my memory as he hit me head on at a pretty good clip. I flew backwards, yelled something unbiblical, and screamed for Cheetah. I remember being pistol whipped by all those horns. I was kicking at him and desperately trying to push myself backwards toward the fence. He hurt me, oh yes he did! He wouldn’t stop. By the time Cheetah rescued me and taught that bad boy some manners I was a scraped up, bruised mess. Not to mention my ego. Guess who gave the flock away?

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