Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mutton Mutiny

“‘Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:1

I have a neighbor who raises sheep, but only by little effort on his own part. He basically threw a bunch of sheep out on a piece of land, and by the grace of God, they survive every day and procreate. The owner does throw them some hay in the winter time, but for the most part, they live in squalor.

The sheep haven’t been sheared once in the five years I’ve lived around the corner from him, so you can imagine what they look like with nearly a foot of wool surrounding their entire bodies. Their only substantial shelter from the elements is a blue El Camino. In the summertime, the sheep stick their necks under the car as best as they can. It is a sad situation.*

*Yes, the sheriff has been called numerous times, but the laws are written so that if you are providing food and water to the animals, there’s really nothing anyone can do.

Me and another neighbor have talked several times of liberating the sheep in the middle of the night, but then they’d probably end up at his house and be found by their less than ambitious shepherd. There are also several horses living on this property and one goose. I’ve never seen a single soul outside tending to the animals.

My heart leapt for joy yesterday while driving by this house, however, as one of the sheep had gotten through the fence. Over the next several hours, I drove by several times on my way here and there, and the sheep was still out, happily munching grass at the house next door.

It doesn’t get any grass at its own house because its pen is a giant mud hole, really.

Then I began to wonder… Should I try and capture the sheep?

Where would I put it?

Could I make it all the way back to my house with it?

What if it got hit by a car?

Then I thought, you know, I’m best just leaving the sheep to mind its own business. And eventually Mr. Bad Shepherd returned home and penned his sheep back up again.

Now sheep aren’t known for intelligence, but I believe there to be a sheep uprising in the making going on at that house. You see, one of my good neighbors bought a lamb from him and this young sheep lives right across the street from where his old home was. I’m pretty sure there’s been some sheep-talk across the road.

“Hey, what’s that green stuff you’re eating over there???”

“I don’t know, but it is delicious! You should try it.”

“Well, we would, but there’s this wire thing in our way.”

“Maybe if you lean on it with your neck it will give way?”

And so it started, the Great Sheep Uprising of 2011. Now that one has gotten out and found that the grass truly is greener (or merely existent) on the other side of the fence, I’m pretty sure that more will follow. Maybe I’ll drive by someday soon and see the whole bunch out munching grass by the road. Maybe I’ll have my camera with me. Maybe I’ll yell out in excitement, “You go, Sheep!!”

And as for me being a bad neighbor and not helping to corral the neighbor’s livestock?

How could I interrupt their best day EVER??

“‘I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:4


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