The Sheep Whisperer

So, a few days after my misadventure with the sheep, I headed back to the scene of the crime: only this time, I took reinforcements, in the shape of Terry and Rubin.

By this point, I had found out a bit more about my woolly friends, and had discovered that I had not, as I’d thought at the time, broken some important countryside law by getting up close and not-particularly-personal with them. No, it turns out this is part of a visitor centre where people can take their kids to learn about farming, and farmyard animals, and stuff like that. It’s known locally as “The Farm”, and, you know, you can say what you like about the place I live, but there’s no shortage of imagination here, there really isn’t.

Of course, as soon as I found out I was actually ALLOWED to be in a field with sheep, I wanted to go back. And I wanted to take Terry and Rubin with me. (Don’t worry: Rubin was kept tightly leashed at all times, and we made sure that dogs were allowed in the area before talking him there. They are, but even if they weren’t, I’m pretty sure the biggest danger would’ve been the sheep mistaking him for One of Their Own and trying to reclaim him. Anyway!) So, off we set, and soon we arrived at a pen containing four sheep (only some of the animals are allowed to wander free, the rest are in enclosures): three white ones and one black sheep. “I know how you feel, mate” I quipped, hilariously, stopping to have a look at them.

As soon as I stopped, however, the black sheep and I locked eyes:

And I’m guessing I must have been a sheep in a former life (which is TOTALLY the kind of thing that would happen to me, incidentally. Why couldn’t I have been a princess or something?), because the next thing I knew, that sheep was trotting towards me, and thrusting its head through the fence to be petted. Well, who was I to resist? I don’t remember ever petting a sheep before (although, again, it seems like exactly the kind of thing I would do), so I patted its head for a minute, and then headed off to join Terry and Rubin, who were standing some distance away, looking bored. (And, in Rubin’s case, looking like a sheep.)

The sheep came with me.

I broke into a jog. So did the sheep.

When I reached the end of its enclosure, my sheep friend was forced to stop, but it clearly wasn’t happy about it, because it stood there with its woolly body pressed against the fence, staring balefully after me. “Would you look at that!” I said to Terry. “Sheep love me! I’m a Sheep Whisperer!”

And you know what? I totally AM a sheep whisperer. Because a few days later? I went back, during my morning run. And this time I managed to “whisper” two more sheep. Here is one of them:

Oh, hai!

The fourth sheep, however, remains elusive. I think it’s playing hard to get:

I’ll get it, though. I will draw it to me with my, um, animal magnetism. (Do you see what I did there?) The Sheep Whisperer will not fail! I will collect the full set! And once I have collected the full set I will…well, actually, I have no idea what happens then. Maybe they give you a free set of mugs, or a special badge or something?

Now that I’ve gone all Dr Doolittle, I visit the sheep every so often, during the course of my run. I think of them as my friends. (THIS IS WHY I DON’T GOT NO HUMAN FRIENDS!) I also no longer eat lamb.

Oh yeah: and I write about sheep now. This is what it’s come to. THIS is how bad my summer was. God, I need a break.

(Also: I haven’t even BEGUN to tell you about the cows…)

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  • Rock Hyrax


    Ah, they're lovely! 😀

    I wondered why you were so concerned about coming across them in your "lost with no phone credit" story.

    Who knows, maybe they rotate the "guest sheep", i.e. the ones in the pen for the visitors to see, and you'll gradually get to know the whole flock…

    September 13, 2010
  • The look that first sheep is giving you is just plain scary!

    September 13, 2010
  • That’s awesome. I am humungously impressed.

    I did once scratch a llama and made it go all quivery, like dogs do when you hit their “spot”. To be honest, it made me feel a bit wrong, altogether. Sheep whispering is cooler.

    September 14, 2010
  • “remaining aloof” made me smile, just thought I would let you know 🙂

    September 15, 2010
      • Rubin smiled as well but his paws were dirty so I didn’t let him use my keyboard to tell you.

        He was not happy!

        September 15, 2010
      • Cristina


        Actually, he wasn’t the only one…. 🙂

        September 16, 2010
  • I am the “animal whisperer”…dogs who are scared of people flock to me…cats that hide from strangers come out to sit on my lap. Animals at the zoo come to the glass to be near me. Cows/goats/sheep/assorted farm animals come to fences as I walk in the country to look at me. Birds/squirrels/assorted forest life comes very close to me.

    The only time I wasn’t? There was this mountain goat at the San Diego Zoo who hated me! He stood at the top of the enclosure and acted aggressive in my general direction and rushed the area I was standing at. He even made threatening sounds! Thank god there was a moat between us as well as a wall.

    Keep whispering to those sheep. It is a gift. 🙂

    September 18, 2010
  • I’m disappointed the sheep didn’t leap the enclosure in order to keep jogging with you.

    October 8, 2010