Minding our own business and driving down a road we don’t drive down very often, through the country side towards Bigtown.
Suddenly, Boofuls and I spotted a trio of young boys chasing a few sheep up the road. “Aye aye” we thought, “What’s going on here then?’ But working on the basis that the boys didn’t have any look of anticipation on their faces and weren’t wearing wellies we decided it was probably innocent.
Innocent it might have been but it sure didn’t look like fun. The older boy was red fadedly, arm wavingly and desperately trying to get these sheep to go in a direction in which they most definitely didn’t want to go. The two younger boys just ran around and shouted a lot, making matters far worse but they were trying their best to help and that’s what counts, I suppose.
As it’s quite a busy and winding road I could see huge and looming potential for disaster in the situation so I thought we’d better stop and help. Boofuls pulled over and I jumped out of the car.
“What’s going on, lads?” I said with my most authoritative voice. I soooo should have been in the police.
“These sheep have escaped from the top field and we’re trying to get them back but they keep running away.”
It turned out that these poor lads had been trying to get these sheep back in their field for about 20 minutes but in actual fact had inadvertently driven them down the hill and onto the road. By this time both the boys and the sheep were in a state of sheer terror.
Sigh. Nothing else for it then, let’s get my sheep herder’s head on and start herding. Did you know that sheep are incredibly stupid?
Arms outstretched, I walked towards then while the elder of the boys did the same from a different direction to try and herd them towards the gate. ‘Piece of cake, this’, I thought. How wrong could I be?
One of the sheep made a bolt for the road and of course the others followed. How I wished for a sheepdog at that very moment – and to my surprise I kind of got one. Boofuls swung the car across the road to block their path and sent them all scurrying back towards us. Well done, Shep, er, I mean, Boofuls.
After a few minutes of herding and cooing, we managed to get them off the road and down a farm track. “Open the gate! Open the gate!” I was shouting to the two younger boys who just stood there looking at me like I was speaking martian. I think they were traumatised. “OPEN THAT GATE!!!!” I bellowed at them and finally they responded and the sheep all ran through it right on cue. It was just like ‘One Man and His Dog’ as the gate was swung shut behind them and we all cheered.
I have no idea who’s land we put them on. I could just imagine the home owner’s face when they saw a small flock of sheep they don’t own grazing away on their land. That, however was not my problem nor that of the boys who’s public spirited actions and determination to get those sheep to a safe place is to be much admired. The oldest boy was almost on his knees, partly out of breathlessness but mostly out of gratitude. He must have thanked me two dozen times for my help.
Our country of the future needs more kids like these. Whoever their parents are, particularly the older boy, they’re an absolute credit to them.
Well done lads!
As for me and Boofuls, we carried on with our journey and I spent the rest of the day talking like a farmer. Ooohaaaaarrr.