After the "great chicken adventure of certain Laura death" I went over to Robin's and worked Nick and Linc. I got back to Julie's, and as she'd requested that the sheep be let out of their pen to graze if I felt like it, I decided to let them out. I was basically just to not let the sheep run away, and not let them go to the neighbor's house. Easy peasy. I'm the farm-sitting queen. I'm on it. Whatever.
I put Nick away, and took Linc over to scoop them out of the pen (the blue box, with a sheep next to it in the picture above). I was also charged with not letting Maia out of the pen... as SHE would run away. Maia is the Guard Dog, whom I could not catch to tie up, by the way. At any rate, Linc brought the sheep out just as pretty as you please. I learned something very exciting in this... Linc works lambs.
Unfortunately I had one lone lamb that didn't make it out the gate with the rest of the flock. The flock was running around the yard all willy nilly, screaming JAILBREAK!!!!!!!!! The lamb was running around the paddock all willy nilly screaming, MOOOOOOMMMM! I was in the pen with Linc with my back turned to the flock trying to let the lamb out but keep the guard dog in (a delicate balance to be sure). I thought maybe we could just... pop it out. Yeah right.
I just happened to turn around to see that the troublemakers were in the little garden. Julie had warned me that they like to graze the garden, which is but a few steps away from the angry neighbor lady's house. Bad. Grazing the garden is bad. Garden leads to angry neighbor lady, so no garden grazing. So I pulled Linc out of the pen, shut the gate (oblivious to the lamb screams in this moment) and sent Linc over to bring back the troublemakers.
He brought them back (good dog), and I finally got a little smarter and had him bring some of the flock up to the gate. I then sent him back into the pen to lay quietly, and he and I made it so that the best choice for the lamb was just to go out the gate and hang with his friends. Good lamb. Good for my ears too. I almost lost Maia out the gate, but I managed to push her back and shut the gate at the last second. Whew.
Sheep were out to graze, Maia was in the pen, and Linc and I could go chill and watch. So the first picture I took up top was when Linc and I were peacefully watching the sheep graze from the back porch. The wind was blowing, the sun was shining, and we were both in our happy Zen place until.... until I realized I was short some sheep. I had been sitting there for probably 10 minutes or so, and I didn't actually know how many sheep I had for sure, but it didn't look like enough.
I figured I'd best go count, go look, whatever. I counted eleven. I felt sure I had more than eleven adults (and a ton of lambs). As I started to walk around the house towards the front I ran almost headlong into a woman... a neighbor from across the street. She'd come over to tell me that there were sheep out... and they were near the angry neighbor's yard and headed for the road. In a panic (and more than a little bit PO'd) I turned and hauled buggy back to the van.
I put Linc away in a rush and grabbed Nick out (I wasn't really feeling like risking a training moment). The neighbor lady (very nice, very pretty, but she startled me and I almost had to go change my drawers again) was following along yammering something about coming to watch as she'd never seen this before. I was on a mission, though, and couldn't tell you what she actually said. She seemed nice.
As far as I was concerned both the sheep and I were in BIG trouble. I was playing the Imperial Death March in my head. Yes, really. I was going to get those naughty sheep. They were going to come home, and they would LIKE IT.
I came around the corner, and sure as shootin' they were in the neighbor's yard - or close to it. They were on the other side of the gardenish thing on the edge there, just skirting the trees. They didn't appear to be really headed for the road... they appeared to be more like kids in a candy store. They were running amok, and it was my fault. The ram was the ring leader, and I KNEW he'd been in the garden crashers group, just as I knew I'd brought him back. So somehow or another he'd made an end run around the quarterback, and had ended up over there. He'd taken friends to the party.
I was irate.
I sent Nick out there, and didn't say a word when he gripped one of the ewes who turned to look at him, and then proceeded to bring them just a bit faster than necessary.
After the nice neighbor lady left, I turned to the sheep, and said, "That's IT! Grazing privileges are LOST."
All I could keep thinking was how the ONLY directive about the sheep Julie gave me was don't let them go to the angry neighbor's yard. And what did I do? I let them go to the angry neighbor's yard. They probably pooped in it. A lot. Yeah, making friends here. Not only that but I was terrified that maybe I hadn't gotten them all back. Turns out I did (get them all back) but it was worrisome.
The next day I would think long and hard about whether or not I'd even let them out again. They don't do what they're told, and they don't stay where they're supposed to stay, even when I'm right there! Sheep that don't do what they're told get grounded. I would relent, eventually, and then I would find out on Sunday the level of sneakiness involved. Oh yeah. Very sneaky sheep. But I fear they underestimated MY sneakiness.