With raising livestock there is one thing that can ruin a good day, almost more than finding a dead animal can.
I headed out early for chores tonight because I wanted to see what Tex and Lily were up to when they weren’t expecting me. We suspect Lily is keeping Tex on the outskirts of the flock and she may be the one responsible for a recent minor wound on his back end. There is definitely a lack of warm, fuzzies between those two, however they do nothing that I can do anything about and that’s what makes this type of situation so very difficult to solve. Everyone is polite when things are calm and normal. Shit happens when there is excitement and that’s usually not when the shepherd is there watching. After observing dogs for awhile I fed everyone and headed over to check Zeus and the rams.
I’ve gotten into the habit of counting the rams, particularly when they are situated out at pasture, even if they are no where close to the ewes and you think there is no incentive to leave, it's good to check they're all there. One, two, three…six… nine, ten … wait, wait, wait, where is eleven? I counted them again and again. There was no evidence of any escape, no lose wire, no open gate.
My day was pretty good until this point. It was about fifteen minutes to full darkness, I did a quick search but otherwise, nothing to do about it tonight except seethe and curse, which I’ve done plenty of. Tonight I'm going to pray ram eleven is, by some miracle, in the ram pasture come morning.
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