Caution: Sheep Crossing

Thursday, September 20, 2007
Posted by chelsea

Besides the hour to hour and a half when George is taking his morning nap, my favorite part of the day are my walks with Little George. I usually take him on a walk at 9:30 am for about an hour around the neighborhood before it gets too hot, and sometimes another just before sunset before it gets too cool (and dark). After exploring every road within about a mile radius, I've fallen into taking the one route in particular that takes me past my favorite houses, dogs and views.

Because of this, I've come to know each and every detail of my walk so well that I could map it out according to which cat sits on what corner. Among this detail, I know which houses usually have someone on the balcony or in the garden, which fig tree has the best figs to pick from, which dogs bark and which stay quiet, but most importantly, which streets sometimes double as a sheep-herding route.

It's true, another one of the many things that give my new home an ever-growing personality is that sheep are herded through our neighborhood on a regular basis. We don't live in a rural area by any means, but many of the houses a bit further up the mountain have small areas containing sheep, goats, rabbits, roosters, chickens or even turkeys (there's one right down the street that I can hear gobbling each morning). Little did I know, they don't just leave the sheep in the fenced areas, but herd them to different grassy knolls throughout the rest of the neighborhood.

I learned this fact while I was out for my morning walk one day last week with George. I was at an intersection, and as I always do, I stopped to look both ways before heading across with the stroller. The right was clear, but before I could even look left, I felt a soft nibble at my foot. Looking down, I was surprised to see a small sheep loitering at my feet while about 50 more came trotting up the street towards me. Not sure what I should do, I tried to gently shake the sheep away from my foot and backed up just a bit to let the herd pass.

The sheep that had been gnawing at my foot remained where it was, staring up at me expectantly. As the pack dwindled down, I noticed a lone man walking briskly behind them wearing bright blue overalls and carrying a large stick. When he got a bit closer, I smiled, glancing down at the sheep that had now huddled next to my leg, leaning into me as if I were its dear friend. Returning the smile and nodding, the man then smacked his stick on the ground, sending the sheep into a frenzied trot up the hill after the rest of the pack.

Of course, the whole time this was going on, George had his hands outstretched in the air, pointing and giggling with delight at the fuzzy little creatures baaing and bleating past us. Sadly enough, I didn't have my actual camera with me, but my mobile has a camera in it and I was able to grab a photo right as the last one was running up a the grassy hill.

So, despite how "routine" my walk has become, there will always be random sheep herds to look forward to.


Scott said...

your mobile. cool.

Jeff's Photo Blog said...

Chelsea, Reading your post reminded me of a cow story that happened to Josie and I about a year ago. I posted it on my blog. I love the photos of your kids. They look adorable. I hope things are going well and that the Lord is blessing you work.