Abbey Leads Ewe-A astray

Robert Denlinger - October 16, 2000
Hi again - it's my turn to pick on Abbey. It almost had a sad ending, but I won't get you worried as it turned out alright.

I saddled Shaanav, early this morning. The usual drill was that he'd carry me around and I survey the pastures, fences and see that the hours of darkness passed quietly down where the two groups of sheep are grazing.

Sometimes Abbey sees me do this and she hangs around waiting for the exact moment I am, shall we say, "committed" to going (In her mind). That, I guess, would be when I walk over and open the pasture gate while Shaanav stands patiently at the horse barn exit. Or so it seems as that's when she usually puts on the "I have a Mission" hat and trots to another gate to slide under it.

Abbey followed the routine this morning. Off we went, Shaanav and I. I put the main fence line under the microscope while he sampled clover as we went. I noticed Abbey had Ewe-A in tow. Don't rightly know how Ewe-A got from the barn area into the main pasture. She might have gone around the back and ducked the Hot-Tape. The latter is over the previous position of the garden High-Tensile fence wire. That being now rolled up since the garden is pau (pronounced 'pow') and subsequently re-seeded for Spring Rye.

When Abbey was sure I was going the normal route, she trotted over to the little drainage channel that goes under the calf pasture fence, right at Ox-Trench. Abbey ducked under the electric fence wires. Ewe-A scooted right along with Abbey. So we were in the Middle-Field, or the calf area. Shaanav tasted some really lush Orchard Grass that had nice clover in it. We've had a couple of light rains in the past week. The temperatures have been around 75 during the day. A real Indian Summer (of sorts).

This 4 acre patch I had the girls work up last week was sown with Rye and it's already up a couple of inches. A nice bright green to dispel the myth that Winter is nearing. You know, it was quiet and pleasantly cool. Various forest sounds were chirping and "rushing about" from behind us. Right nice indeed.

Miz Sprightly nosed up a few times to check Shaanav out. When her buddy with the horns sniffed too much at Shaanav's rear, he decided that I wanted to do some cutting --Funny how he like to cut cattle out. So I went along for the chase ----UNTILL I remembered Abbey!! "@#$-^^#$!!", I said --"Abbey!!??", I called .... I figured she would head for the secret exit at the junction of Old-She Hollow and Tygart's ---the far corner of the Alfalfa field. What's worse, she'd already taken Ewe-A out that path once before.

I gave Shaanav that little lean that he understands to mean "Let's Boogie". Don't need to do anything else except maintain my balance. And off we flew at a Mustang sprint. All you have to do is duck branches, use anti-gravity during the jumping-trenches events and you'll make it just splendidly.

She was no where to be seen, as we screeched through the gates into the Alfalfa pasture. Hung a right and made pounding hooves sounds along the "Alley-Way". Oh, that's where the 1900's "Old Road" used to be. There's a segment along the bank of Tygart's, about six tenths of a mile long, with trees on either side whose boughs have been pruned to form an arch. Kinda neat as I keep it grazed to make a grass alley in nice shade.

As we approached #52's mob, Badger sounded off. The pup bounced forwards and told us both off. We needed to go around his netting to get to the other side and the far corner. I caught sight of two generally white things scooting towards that corner too. Shaanav applied the brakes just as Abbey was approaching the corner.

Now picture this for a description. Tygart's on the right, flows to your left. The alley-way ends here, coming from your right. On the left, is the Old She Hollow and it's corresponding little creek that flows/trickles into Tygart's. Old-She is a twisty chasm ranging anywhere from flat with the terrain to about eight feet deep. It's got left over trees and branches, diapers and oil cans, beer cans and so forth --from previous floods. And likely Copperhead snakes! I don't "Do" Old-She crossings, that you very much!

Well, I scolded Abbey and tried to turn her around. Seeing's as how I was on Shaanav and Abbey on her own four paws, it didn't appear to be a viable task. Sure enough, Abbey and Ewe-A scooted through a break in the fence. In fact, the break was new to me. Must have happened during some minor high-water a couple of months ago. I've been experimenting with some good old "English" fencing along this corner. You know, broken limbs, branches and twigs fashioned basket-weave style. It's held up awesomely and even accumulated soils and limbs so as to be slowly building the ground back up (hopefully above the general flood plain).

Well, I had, at least, discovered the escape route. Saw the LGD hairs snagged on the wires too!! But the fact remained that the little butthead had defied me and taken Ewe-A off the farm. Roping Abbey wouldn't have worked since she was generally in new-shoots and brush plus right at the "Go-Out" to the ford-crossing at Old-She. Lucky for the little twit I didn't loop one on her or she's see what Shaanav likes to do about dragging things such as calves, people or dogs. Not much I could do about it now.

So we worked our way back following the Hot-Tape that parallels Tygart's. Noted the three acres of grazing turnips are nice and tall and really a dark green. Sheep should enjoy that one when I get back from a clinic in Colorado. Trouble is the mob sure does smell a might after they've been turned into the turnips. I mean, you can smell them vividly from a hundred feet.

Turned Shaanav out to frolic and got to fixing a net, when a truck stopped at the front gate. Do tell!! He's gonna tell me there's a sheep on the road. Or a white dog and a sheep. Yup. He did. "Thaaaanks ...", I mumbled, letting it trail off --made like I was really surprised though ...

"Let's think now ...I'll need ...a BC --A Bear to lure her into the truck cab ..yup that'll do ...Patches?! Load up. Bear?!! In the Truck???". They both got where they're supposed to, one in the front and one in the bed of the truck. Open front gate --leave open --zoom out... Yup -- there she was. Ole Ewe-A walking down the road, looking confused --No Abbey!!

And that's why she was befuddled BTW. Tess was barking from her net just to the right. Now this is the place Capella was run over. On the left is a one acre "front" yard' of grass and then Cox's farm house. This is Old She Hollow and the aforementioned comes in from your left. So, rather obviously, my alfalfa field is to the right. I pulled onto the grass siding (not much room). So I get out and a car is approaching from my front. Ewe-A sees me and then sees Bear. She recognizes him in the truck and starts hopping towards us.

At the same time, that little white, pointy-eared, yappy beefwitted mutt of Cox, screams across their 'yard'. Towards and on an intercept course with Ewe-A. Ewe-A panics on the one hand, but she also recognized it was a white dog. Since she thinks all white dogs are her friend ..AND since the approaching car is now slowly creeping up on her ---She splits into Cox's yard and TO THE MUTT!!

"Patches!!! Come-By". He's still in training but a very fast little BC --He hasn't worked singles yet and thought he was supposed to herd BOTH!! I shrugged and motioned that car on. As they passed I gave a slight shrug of the shoulder and put on my sheepish face. Ewe-A and the mutt made the porch of the farm house. But I could see Ewe-A knew this wasn't right. The mutt was starting to harass Ewe-A but Torpedo Patches made a gun run and scared something out of the mutt.

I drove down their access road and got out. With the door open, Ewe-A could see Bear directly. She by-passed me and made a bee-line to the front seat of the truck. We drove home. As I pulled in and was closing the main gate, I saw Abbey, way down there, moving this way and in the calf field. So, did the rest of you have a calm morning?