This is Maeve.
This is Grace’s hair.
This is Pinto.
Again, this is Maeve.
Things I’ve mentioned before:
A) Grace wrangles sheep with enough grit to call to mind the eponymous pirate Grace O’Mally!
B) Livestock save daftness, illness, injuries, and/or births for the nastiest weather and most inconvenient times!
C) Maeve is neurotic, protective, and has delusions of being a border collie!
Recently, these things came together in a perfect storm of hilarity!
There Was a Sheepish Dogpile and…a Brother Laughed!
Our farm-based dating service, ‘Ewe-Need-A-Match.com’, was a failure! We realized this in a flash. I mean, why else would several members of our ‘Ladies Only Club’ have unplanned pregnancies. It. Was. A. Problem.
The solution? Blame the boys. Clearly, they were sneaking out of their bedrooms. Picture the Ramshackle Gang smuggling packs of Lucky Strikes and a bottle of booze in to the girls’ dormitory!
I suppose I could ask Maury Povich to DNA test five rams and three lambs. Then, I’d wait for him to announce, “You are the Father!” Can you imagine the aftermath? Number 15 sighing in desperate relief, then shouting, “See! See? I said you were the only one and you didn’t trust me!” Number 43 sobbing quietly in the background. Another ram tearing up and moaning, “But…but, you said she was mine…I was gonna teach her to vault fences and step on people’s feet…” While Bomber, the biggest ram, takes down the scrawny usurper with a hay-maker. It would be baa-aaaad!
Since Maury retired, we decided to go at it another way. We created the Ram-catraz Monastery! It’s isolation, electric fencing, and welded wire woven into ovine birth control. The only issue: getting the rams from their swinging bachelor pad to the monastery with no loss of life (or knees).
The prison transfer/vows of celibacy were planned for a sunny Saturday, but that isn’t how things work. The gang was sneaking out more frequently, and one of them was caught harassing a pregnant ewe. So, “get thee to a [monastery]” became the order of the day. Naturally, this was a rainy Wednesday…during the coldest weather in the last three years. Oh, and we had rolling fog borrowed from Hamlet Sr.’s walk around the castle rampart!
Liam, the kids, and Maeve moved the rams and it went smoothly, except for one ram. (There’s always one!) Then, the kids and the world’s only sheep-herding wolfhound set out to finish the job. Liam and I had to leave. We went on our notorious flamin’ hay run.
The remaining ram was quickly caught, but when they tried to introduce him to the cloister, revival broke out! Each ram instantly converted to Protestantism! They raced to post a ‘No Celibacy’ rule on the
door gate of the monastery! One ram went in, and three ran out. Two rams in—>one ram out. Four in—>one out–>et cetra & ad infinitum.
After a while, the kids were sweaty and soaked with rain. Running made them hot, but the air was so cold they froze the moment they paused for breath. Maeve was having a ball! She likes the cold, loves moving sheep, and doesn’t mind drippy bangs. Then, darkness fell with a thud. (THUD.)
The temperature was about 17`F. Our home sits on a hilltop, so the wind will blow your hair through Shakespeare’s foggy prose and into Mad Madame Mim territory! Imagine running through frozen pea soup lit only by headlamps. Finally, they were down to one loose ram: Pinto.
Pinto ran into the eighteen inch gap between the chicken coop and the fence. (It’s where all daft sheep eventually end up!) The kids made a plan. Jonah would hop the fence and push on it. This would make Pinto run through the gap and “squirt out the end like toothpaste from a tube”. Grace would standby and grab him when he popped out. Maeve hovered on the periphery trying not to be left out of the action. (Sam had gone to the house for the spotlight.)
Jonah made his way down the fence pushing with his shoulder and encouraging the ram along. Finally, Pinto popped out and looked around sheepishly. Grace edged forward, and Pinto took off! Grace leaped up for a flying tackle!
Now, I have to describe Grace. She is 5’5″ and doesn’t quite tip the scale at 110 lbs. All 110 lbs are hard-working muscle, but sometimes life comes down to bulk! This was one of those times. Pinto outweighs her. So, her tackle…didn’t. Pinto kept running, and Grace kept holding on. Eventually, she managed to ‘bulldog’ him and he crashed onto her and her flying ponytail.
Like Absalom, Grace was caught by her crowning glory! She squirmed and wriggled trying desperately to free herself without losing her quarry. Suddenly, the rampageous ram got in a lucky punch to the bread basket! Grace let out a startled ‘Oooomph!’ Hearing sounds of a struggle, Maeve came running. With gentle giant logic, Maeve knew she had to defend her girl! So, she did.
She reared up to her full 6′ and used both front paws to pile drive the ram. A hundred and twenty pounds of freaked out wolfhound sent the ram crashing into Grace. The impact knocked Grace’s breath out in a ‘WHOOP!’ Her head wrenched back as Pinto was pushed further onto her hair. Grace’s ‘whoop’ made Maeve more certain Pinto was in attack mode! So, she continued to pile drive him (into Grace) over and over!
Jonah vaulted the fence and came running. He was stunned at the vision exposed in the light of his headlamp. Grace’s arms and legs were twined with the ram’s. Seven limbs (Grace’s and Pinto’s) were flailing. The eighth limb, Grace’s right arm, was in a stranglehold around Pinto’s neck! The tangled bodies thrashed, while the overwrought dog slammed forefeet first into the mix!
Jonah feared his sister was concussed or bleeding, until the din of struggle registered. His face split into a grin, when he heard Grace shouting, growling, AND squawking! (For a small person, Grace has no problem making herself heard! She gets it from my mom’s side. I personally claim it skipped my generation!)
“SIT! Darn it! Maeve, SIT! I…SAID…SIT!!! AARGH! Get off me, you stupid sheep! GET! OFF! MY! HAIR! MAEVE, SIT!!!!! GET OFF!!!! YEEEEEOOOOW! DOWN, DANG IT! SIT DOWN, NOW!!!! GRRRRRR!! GET OFF MY FLIPPIN’ HAIR!!!!!!! UGH! Maeve!“
All this was mixed with unintelligible mutterings, yelps, and the sound cats make when they’re swearing. No, it wasn’t the animals! It was my sweet gentle daughter! I mean, Pinto and Maeve may have made some noise, but all Jonah heard was his loudly irrate sister! Jonah was overcome by slightly hysterical laughter that couldn’t be controlled.
In his defense, he also grabbed both animals by their collars and lifted! He stood Maeve upright on her hindfeet, and lifted Pinto just enough that Grace could f-i-n-a-l-l-y free her hair and wriggle out.
Finding herself standing on two feet, Maeve looked around in surprise. Seeing Grace had escaped the ram’s cluches, she calmly waited to be let go. Meanwhile, Pinto shrieked, Grace muttered, and Jonah guffawed. He continued to laugh as they escorted Pinto to his new digs.
When Liam and I made it home, Jonah was still chuckling. He told the story, and we all got a laugh. Even Maeve seemed to smirk when Jonah, in a goofy falsetto, mimicked Grace saying “I…SAID…SIT!” (His falsetto sounds like a combination of Winifred Sanderson and Hyacinth Bucket!)
Being a good sport, Grace saw the funny side (after her hair was free)! She even told me the ‘sheepish dogpile’ needed to make its way into the Friday Funnies!
This post was shared with some of our favorite blog hops and Linky Parties! Check them out!