Black Sheep

12 07 2008

A few nights ago while Mom and Dad Turpen were here, Aidan came back to the table while the rest of us were finishing dinner to inform us that there was a sheep outside.

We asked if he’d heard it, and he said yes. We said it was probably nearby on a neighbor’s property. But then he said he’d seen it, too, standing by the trailer. I asked a challenge question: “What color was it?” Without a moment’s hesitation, he said it was black.

So, of course, we all jumped up from the table and went to see the black sheep. Sure enough, a sheep had somehow made its way onto the ranch. Dad Turpen and I tried to round it up for a while, but it spooked easily and wouldn’t let either of us get very close.

Black sheep by the outhouse

Black sheep by the outhouse

I called Grandad Turpen, who said it could belong to any of three flocks nearby. Since it was almost dark out, and a lone sheep would be an easy target for nighttime predators, he suggested trying to lead it into the pole barn for the night. Granny told me where to find a rope, and I set out for a second attempt at sheep wrangling, this time with Liesl.

Dad Turpen, meanwhile, set out with Aidan to determine where the sheep came from. He saw sheep tracks leading in and out of the front gate, and thus determined that the sheep must have wandered in through the front entrance and couldn’t find its way out.

Liesl and I were having a less successful time getting the sheep to cooperate. We came really close when Liesl had the bright idea of making a sheep noise, and it almost came close enough to reach. Then Aidan ran up and scared it away again. After almost an hour, I decided that you can’t help a sheep that doesn’t want to be helped, and we gave up.

The next morning, the first thing Dad Turpen heard was the sheep, still alive, and still on the ranch, making sheep noises behind the cabin. We decided to make one more attempt at guiding it back towards its flock after breakfast.

By the time we set out, the sheep was nowhere to be found. Dad saw new tracks by the gate and determined that the sheep must have finally made its way out.

I hope it made its way home. I like animals, but I have no desire for a pet sheep.




6 responses

12 07 2008

‘Baa Baa Black Sheep have you any wool?’ That sheep had plenty and Aidan noticed too, because when he was inside briefly while I was doing dishes, he ran out saying, “I’m going to go ask that sheep to make me a sweater!”.

12 07 2008
Terri Spratte

that is so cool, that you saw a black sheep. Sounds like you are having many adventures there in Gallup.

12 07 2008
Aunty Penn

So what’s wrong with having a lamb for a pet? When you groom them, you can make something. And if you don’t name it, it would taste really good with some garlic and rosemary. Don’t tell the kids….

12 07 2008

I can’t wait to hear this sheep noise of Liesl’s. Maybe tomorrow… :oD

16 07 2008
John T

You forgot to say the sheep had red eyes, fangs and claws for hoofs and the red eye reduction mode only worked on that one picture.

17 07 2008

Ooh I hope the sheep made it back okay! Poor little black sheep…I feel your pain of loneliness and isolation…

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