Thursday, May 19, 2011

Shepherd or Sheep Farmer

This morning, as I was in the lower pasture with my sheep, I was leaning on the shepherd staff one of my brothers made me, contemplating a recent conversation with a niece and several nephews.

We were at a family gathering and one of my nephews asked me if I was a shepherd or a sheep farmer. Others, who were gathered around, asked him the difference. He said a shepherd leads his/her sheep and a sheep farmer has a dog that runs behind the sheep and nips at their heels. I told him I was a shepherd but one of his uncles kept trying to turn me into a sheep farmer. What's ironic is that my brother who has a sheep herding dog and keeps telling me I need one is the one who made me the staff.

It was Christmas or my last birthday before I left MA, and I remember how excited I was to receive a beautiful shepherd staff my brother had painstakingly made from a cherry tree that had fallen. I held it in my hands feeling how smooth it was and admiring the grain but the emotion that swelled up inside was that my brother believed in and was promoting my dream.

This morning, as I held the staff, I was thinking about what makes me crazy as a shepherd or sheep farmer. The answer---- sheep or a llama on the wrong side of the fence. The "grass is greener" thing drives me nuts. This morning Jumping Jack was outside the fence with his head inside and just across the fence nose to nose was Greta or Zora (I can't remember which) with her head outside the fence. "the grass is greener"

The truly bizarre thing is that all the lambs that go outside are the ones I plan on keeping plus the one I would keep if I could keep one more. The ones I plan to sell are mellow and graze inside the fence.

I think all of this leads to the answer I have been seeking.....;.;@#%$^!!! Take down the temporary fence and be a shepherd and lead my sheep or get a dog.

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