Thursday, April 14, 2011

sheep: a gateway animal to stupidity

It started with this little dog.  He is a Maremma sheepdog named Gypsy.  He lived with us until his need to be in the place he truly belonged over rode our need to have him belong mostly to our place…

But before he left us for pastures of sheep to boss around Beach liked to ride him.  So my friend says, “Mutton busting.”  And it’s a joke for awhile like the dogs getting to swim in the community pool before they close it down for the summer a joke that turns & becomes something.

Meanwhile back on the ranch, in home school, this becomes Beach’s favorite piece of ancient art.  It must be a sign that she is meant to ride sheep.  Then we get our big break Utah Heritage State Park is actually letting it happen. 

So we go & sign her up for the Youth Rodeo with a lot of really normal looking families; families like us who love their children.  We tie the age category bandannas around their necks & pin numbers to their back.  This must be the magical incantation that turns us from logic folks into mob cheering parents.  Much like Stage Mom’s only more diverse.

The youngest kids go first.  Each one in succession either backs out before they hit the gate or gets trampled in the mud.  This does not dissuade the parents, we keep lining up the kids.  Most of the kids, hurt or not are now crying and the parents remain the driving force coaxing them down the fence line to the waiting Rodeo Clown and Sheepzilla. 

I however am a really good mom so when Beach’s number was called I did the very same.  I led Beach who was not crying but was trembling to the starting gate.  She climbed the fence letting the officials help her on the sheep.  Then she suddenly dismounted & fled crying back over the gates.
She was sobbing over her failure for about 10 minutes as 2 more kids provided their bodies as a dance floor for the sheep to tap dance on. 

She tried again.  She climbed the fence, mounted the sheep, took instruction from the Clown, then raised her head and said, “The thing is I really don’t want to get stepped on by a sheep and I think the only way to NOT get stepped on is to NOT ride it.”

Well yeah.  You might look at it like that…

Colby snatched her up as she dismounted for the last time.  She was still crying but we were laughing at how stupid sheep can be.  Did you know they will follow each other off cliffs?            

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, ask Mom sometime about raising sheep. Have a large drink handy first...