The Wolf Shall Dwell With The Lamb

The boys’ pen was originally built to hold two sheep; Duke and Barney. Since the boys were weaned, it has been home to six sheep. Even with the wet, cool summer we’ve had, the grass inevitably gave out. I opened the gate so Duke, Jeb, Barney, and Liam can graze both the boys pen and the horse pen, and moved all the young Soays and half-Soays over with the girls.

The girls didn’t pay much attention to their lambs from this year, but the four older ones ganged up on poor Neo and beat him up. Mira’s not much for beating people up, so she just sniffed at Neo’s tail, bounced in circles excitedly, then ran off to (cautiously) play with the younger boys. She missed her playmates, but she doesn’t remember their horns being quite that big before.

Eventually everybody settled down, but I had to put Neo off in the lambing pen for the night because in close quarters Princess was determined to bludgeon him to death. Even Eternal Rivals like Nova and Lady will call truce long enough to sleep at night, but once Princess gets good and mad the only way to get her to stop is to remove the object of her ire from reach. Johnny and Bran went with him so he wouldn’t be lonely, but Will stayed with the girls because he’s a mama’s boy beneath Princess’s notice.

Given the regularity with which Will escapes from the Boys’ Clubhouse, I don’t know why it surprised me to find him in the yard today. He and Watcher (wonderful watch dog that he is) were snuggled up together in the shade taking a nap. When Watcher saw me coming he jumped up guiltily and started barking right in Will’s face so I wouldn’t think he was slacking on the job. Will was (predictably) completely unimpressed.

“Fear me, you sheep!”

“Ah, I’m so scared. Somebody do something.”

“Did you see that, Mom? I’m totally on the job!”

“Are you going to bark more, or can I go back to sleep?”

Watcher knows the sheep aren’t supposed to be in the yard, but as long as it’s only one at a time he enjoys the company too much to sound the alarm on them. Once Will was back where he belongs, Watcher “helped” me refill the water tub. By which I mean he drank from the faucet and made the water splatter everywhere except into the bucket.

“Water’s always best right from the tap!”

There are a lot of horror stories out there about how full size collies are bloodthirsty killers who can’t be trusted around livestock, but neither of our collies have shown any killer instinct at all. I suppose if my sheep insist on escaping every other day, it’s a good thing my dog likes taking naps with them instead of eating them.

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8 thoughts on “The Wolf Shall Dwell With The Lamb

  1. That is amazing, beating up on ‘friends and neighbors’, the guilty barking but snuggling down with the escapee 🙂 I had not heard Collies were bloodthirsty killers…wonder what they ahd been crossed with!

  2. It’s scary that they beat up on each other. But Watcher seems to have the right idea!! Perhaps he could teach the others.

    • Everyone’s settled down now, they just have to hammer out the pecking order every time a new sheep comes into the field… Even if they already know each other!

  3. Collies that are not trained, or not well exercised and their minds kept busy, can certainly be killers, as can any dog on the loose that gets in with sheep. Here in Ireland they are often trained as search and rescue dogs in the mountains – provided they can be taught to ignore the sheep that graze the mountains for 8 or 9 months of the year.

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