Sunday, September 17, 2023

"Morning, Murphy!"

I've often been asked if there is a leader within our flock here, and honestly, other than certain sheep that everyone seems to respect or sheep that take on certain roles, I've never really noticed one particular sheep that has ever truly assumed control...until this summer.

I wish I could scroll back through time and see when Murphy started bowling the other sheep over to get out to pasture first.  Has he always done this and I never paid any attention until I started locking the back gate at night and opening it each morning, watching them all head out?

At first I just thought it was Murphy being a bossy piggy, wanting to get to the choicest grass (since there's such a shortage of it here ;-) first, but then I (finally) started noticing that no one ever left the barn lot until Murphy said "Let's go!"

Murphy is frequently not the earliest riser.  I usually find a big cluster of sheep already milling around the barn lot while he waits until the last minute to get out of bed, however, no one ever makes a move towards the now opened gate to the back fields.

The first thing Murphy does when he gets up is check the gate latch headed to the Easy Breezy alfalfa stash.  Once he's sure there's nothing to pillage in the barn, he marches out through the gathered sheep, bouncing off anyone who doesn't get out of his way.

At that point everyone falls in line behind him until he reaches the threshold of the gate where he usually stops to survey the back fields.   They all stop as well.  I'm not sure if he's looking for danger or just trying to decide if he's heading towards McDonalds or Hardees.

Once he's made up his mind and starts walking again, everyone else starts walking again as well, but no one ever passes him on the way out.  Whether he goes left or right, he's always in the lead.  After they all reach open ground, everyone begins to make their own decisions.

There have been some fun series of photos of this behavior all summer on IG.  It's not really a puzzle in itself, but if you are looking for a new one... ;-).


Anchor Cottage said...

That is a fun story!

Shirley said...

Interesting! Who knew there are lead sheep. Way to go Murphy, I guess it really is "Murphy's Law" around there!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Murphy is a born leader...I wonder how he told everyone else? My guess is that he has been doing it a long time:)

jeu a gratter gratuit said...

Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge


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