When Help isn’t Helpful

Yesterday we started replacing the tarps on the hoop houses getting them ready for winter (and getting rid of all the “windows,” which were getting inconveniently large.) We let the girls into the yard while we were working to keep them out from underfoot, but of course after a while Mira had to come investigate why we were paying attention to things-that-are-not-her, and stuck around to mooch treats steal things supervise.

“Excuse me, what are you doing, and why are you not paying attention to me and giving me treats instead?

About halfway through Dad had to go back to the house for something, and the rest of the flock decided that meant we were taking a lunch break. That is to say, a break to feed sheep lunch. They all came back in from the yard to pester me for treats and check out the new tarps.

“Hey! Do you have any treats? We haven’t had anything all day except hay and grass and leaves this morning and now yard grass and more leaves from the yard! We’re starving!”

“Where are my treats?”

“Any treats at all?

Mira did not like me paying attention to sheep-that-are-not-her, and tried to run everyone else off. Once she’d gotten her fair tribute, Lady was less concerned about treats and more concerned about the sudden lack of windows in the hoop house.

“Stay away from my mommy!”

“Forget ShepherdPerson, what happened to all of our windows? We worked hard on those!”

Angel decided to go with the strategy that no one could steal ‘her’ treats if she stole them all first.

“These pockets are not very convenient for me to help myself to treats, you need better pockets!

Everyone (except Mira) ran off again once the break was over, and despite her help we did manage to successfully get it covered.

“OK, it’s covered, all the windows are gone. Now are you going to pay attention to me??”

You can tell by the irritable angle of her ears that she was very cranky by the time we were done. After years of being a sheep-mother, I’ve almost perfected the ability to keep up a running conversation with her and frequently pet her head while working on something else, and I think it’s given her unreasonable expectations for other humans. She lost her temper and butted Dad’s leg, so she didn’t get invited to help us with the boys’ shelter. (I wouldn’t have let her in the boys’ field anyway, but that’s beside the point.) She pouted at us through the gate for a while before giving up and wandering off with everyone else.

“Well you’re not going to do it right without my help, that’s for certain.”

The boys contented themselves with keeping an eye on things from the far end of the field, so we had no ovine assistance for the second hoop house. We somehow managed to get it done regardless. If the weather cooperates we’re aiming to get the last hoop house covered tomorrow.

The sheep may be a bit disconcerted by the lack of windows, but they will be a lot happier not getting wet the next time it rains. Not that I’m expecting them to connect “lack of windows = shade = staying dry,” but there’s always hope.

4 thoughts on “When Help isn’t Helpful

  1. haha, what a story, esp the cranky ears. It is amazing what they can surmise…or what you can surmise from their actions! Glad you got 2 out of 3 hoop houses done.

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