I went to let the sheep out yesterday morning, and there were only three Dukelings at the fence to greet me. If Chestnut had been the missing one I wouldn’t have been too worried, (Chestnut is a sound sleeper and sometimes doesn’t wake up when everyone else gets up and leaves him), but it was Cedar and Cedar doesn’t usually wander off alone, so my brain automatically started screaming “Oh no, he’s hurt/sick/escaped and run off to conquer the world!”
I walked all over looking for him and couldn’t find him anywhere, but there was some sort of great commotion going on in the barn, so I decided to put the search on hold while I let the girls out.
And I found Cedar. In the barn, in one of the stalls with the girls. I have no idea how he ended up in there, and I have a strong suspicion he wasn’t sure how he ended up in there, but he was Not Happy about it. The commotion I’d been hearing was him bawling his head off because he’d never been more than a few steps away from Chestnut before in his entire life and he did not like it at all and wanted his brother back right that minute.
I got him back out with his brother and the other boys, much to his relief. Neo also slipped out, then immediately decided he’d made a Big Mistake when he was instantly attacked by every guy in the field wanting to hash out his place in the pecking order. In the process of rescuing poor hapless Neo, somehow I ended up with the boys all in the large front field. I was tired of sheep-chasing by that point, so I just shut the gate on them and let the girls have the small front fields and the back field for the day.
And of course I didn’t have a camera or even my cell phone to document any of this chaos. By the time I got back to the house and got the camera, Cedar had migrated to the front fence and was cramming his head under the wire to eat the yard grass (a totally necessary measure, what with him only having a whole field of grass to eat on his own side) under the watchful eye of Daddy Duke, while Chestnut and Prince Bran ate bark off of the nearby tree (also totally necessary, I’m sure).
“Remember, son, the grass is always greener on the other side!”
And the equally watchful, but much less approving, eye of Watcher.
“No no no! Get back! Stop!”
Watcher always has a minor existential crisis when I switch around who’s in what field, because the Sheep Are In The Wrong Place and it’s Bad, but having one eating the grass under the fence was just the last straw.
“Do you SEE what they’re DOING?!”
He was disgusted that I decided to stay on the porch and take pictures instead of fixing everything back the way it was. Watcher firmly disapproves of things not being the way they should be.
“I’m staying on the porch, too! It’s wet out there!”
Echo started to go help Watcher, but stepped in the rain puddle on the edge of the porch and changed his mind. Echo is firmly against getting his paws wet.
Evidently satisfied that the required level of chaos was being maintained by the boys and Watcher, the girls decided to leave off their hormone-fueled dueling for the moment and settle down to play happy family for a while.
I decided that Watcher and Apple could probably resolve their differences on their own, left them to it and went inside for breakfast.