Monday, March 30, 2009

Postscript: Girls at War

I haven't really tried to figure out who won. As a matter of fact, I forgot about the really doesn't make a lot of difference who the matriarch is, for my work.

But maybe it does.

And maybe the girls settled the question in an unusual way.

When I ran the main flock of ewes up to the front pen, so that I could examine and treat Taylor without having the rest of the flock trying to "help" me, they all ran willingly up to the front pen, where I'd just unwrapped a fresh bale of alfalfa. That is, all but two.

Perfle and Faith BOTH stayed behind in the barn, standing near Taylor, clearly concerned about the situation. I tried to drive them off, but they kept circling back around to Taylor, and standing there with their noses a few inches apart, near the ground, a few feet away from her.

I'd love to know what they were thinking. Were they offering encouragement? Saying good-bye? Trying to diagnose her? Giving her Reiki treatments? I wouldn't put it past sheep to have a highly evolved system of energy-based healing arts.

When they both turned and gave me a level stare, in unison, (actually almost a glare) after our third lap around the pen, I gave up for the time being, and walked away for a few minutes. When I returned, they had run up to the front pen to join the rest of the flock.

I wonder whether they have settled down to be President and Vice-president working together as a team, or are they equal co-clerks in a more egalitarian society? At any rate, it was interesting that these two apparent leaders were the ones that turned back to aid the fallen ewe.

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