I Love Sheep

by Mark Wynn

I ❤ sheep

I have a special love for sheep. I am man enough to admit that. Sheep are wonderful peaceful animals. They are the meek. They taught me to root for the underdog. The writers of the bible clearly favored the company of sheep. What most people learned from the bible I learned from the source.

You can read from eastern philosophies of noble creatures manifesting in the spirit of man like the tiger and eagle. My banner will fly the sheep.

Oh sure the Ram might take the opportunity to knock you off your feet once in awhile but he doesn't mean anything by it. If you present this opportunity he might hit you at full speed in the back but he always let's you get up before launching at you again. He plays by the rules. When this manifests in the man is it not called HONORABLE?

I've spent more hours than most chin deep in a flock of sheep as a youth. Picking twigs and burrs out of their thick smelly wool. I loved doing that. The smell of lanolin is a memory trigger as much as fresh cut golden hay bales baking in the sun.

I may have been viewed as a mutant lamb maybe. The Ram never bothered me cause I was so small. But Dad on the other hand was crippled up and his reaction time was more like ram speed and he would regularly get knocked down. It was hilarious.

There were bad times to make sense of too. Lambs born before the last real snow always had it hard. Countless times I fell asleep on the floor in front of the living room stove with a lamb. I don't remember any of them surviving. What I remember is the lamb would always perk up right before the spirit left it. I became very familiar with that sign. It's my earliest memory. The lamb perking up eventually failed to elicit the feelings of hope it once had. This was always the same way.

The LOYALTY displayed by the sheep to the flock was obvious and maybe I learned some of that from them. They conducted themselves as a unit from one pasture to another. You could almost set your watch to the old ewe signaling it's time to go out front. So every afternoon they would be seen walking the same line from field to field. The remnants of ruminants were everywhere. And on this point their droppings are the least offensive as well, for instance, have you ever seen a shark shit? That's nothing you want to swim through.

Anyway these paths criss-crossed the farm everywhere. Where ever the freshest tips to nibble were. When they got there they would instinctively fall in side by side and begin mowing the green as a unit.

The worst times were when very occasionally a dog would attack the flock. There are forces they are helpless against and they know it. Dogs go hysterical in a flocks of sheep. It's horrible. They clearly loose the ability to reason. You can see your best friend revert to a prehistorical murder machine. They just run wild chasing the flock and pulling mouthful of wool out until the whole flock's covered in blood. It's not something you want to see.

I saw it happening once from a couple hundred yards away. It was horrible. Dad saw it too at the time and there was nothing to do but grab the 270 and lean out the living-room window. He shot that German shepherd running at 250 yards. There was no hesitation from any of us.

The herd always watched out for each other.

But 99% of the time it was enjoyable. When I got older and tried shearing them that enjoyment level dropped considerably but as a youth..

Picture a 250lb Suffolk ram with the typical large black roman nose. He didn't need horns. He had a ritual dance he would do as he worked himself up to launch at something. If you noticed the first few moves of this ritual you could watch the hilarity ensue.

The ram would just look up from grazing and maybe notice you absent mindedly backing into his periphery. He would lower his head and swing it from side to side as he backed away from the target. And you could feel the tension like a big rubber band as he backed away. When the trigger was pulled he would silently raise up on his back legs and give a couple lunges and he would cartwheel dad threw the air. It was the funniest violence. Dad took these shots a 1000 times before he got too old. They took there toll.

When he was younger it was a different reaction. He would jump up cussing and grab something like a shovel handle or stake and splinter it over the rams head in a rage if he could. After getting struck the ram never acted like dad though. He walked away CALM and CONFIDENT knowing as a sheep that was his duty for which he was RESPONSIBLE

I remember the last time Dad let that happen. He was standing near the garden tractor when the ram hit him at full lunge in the hip. Which was his Achilles after all. Dad was about 80 when this happened and he realized his old hips had gotten too bony for that. He wasn't even mad this time. You might say that was the end of a 70 year match and he was bested finally by a younger opponent.

I hear people using sheep as an insult. For the same reason people seem to hate the social and emotional aspects of the left. They associate the left with a flock of sheep. When I hear this I remember, "I know I am, but what are you?"

I will tell you what I think of them as, dogs. They're amusing themselves at our expense for no other reason than they can. They are running amok and killing us because there lack of self control over their base impulses. Their behavior is mindless. Like a fox in a hen house.


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