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Writing Ruminations

Writing is such an internal process. Why not make those private ruminations public? This is how stories take shape and grow.

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Location: Happy Valley, Oregon, United States

I've been supporting myself as a writer for many years and am watching the changes in the publishing world with fascination. For me, sharing the craft, teaching, is as creatively satisfying as the writing process itself.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Ovine BBs

Ah, all six new lambs are out in the pasture with the adults. Talk about terminal distractions! I find myself time and again, out on the back porch watching them bounce, nibble grass, chase each other. They're still so new that they're a bit tottery...but soon enough they'll be racing all over the woods and the field, driving their mothers nuts as they vanish to the far corners, ignoring mom's bleated summons. Poor DJ got a taste of what is in store for him. I worked him on some January lambs that had never been worked by a sheepdog before. Talk about BBs on a plank! They were all over the place and the poor dog really had to work to keep the bunch together. No sooner did he have most of 'em corralled, when a naughty one or two would streak off to the gate. His brow was positively wrinkled with effort as he figured out how to get them back to the main bunch...which was now over on the far side of the field...and then get the whole batch back to me where they 'belong'. He did a great job and was stepping on his tongue by the time we finally ended the session. He did a great job of emulating a Border Collie and they were much better behaved when we quit. He's still snoring on the floor this morning, recovering. He even resisted the temptation to give hocks a good nip when the escapees made him dash clear across the huge field to collect 'em. Chasing sheep...properly...is very hard work. :-)


Blogger GSKearney said...

Oh, wow. That brings back some memories. We should have had you around. My father was a great horse trainer, but he didn't know squat about dogs. We'd just get the strays that people took out to the country to get rid of. I didn't know squat either, but with my infinite supply of laziness I was determined to train them to bring the milk cows home, so I wouldn't have to. Never did have much luck. We had a border collie named Suzie who would help, but I had to go along.
I had more luck teaching the cats. Had one who would bother me while I was trying to milk the cows, so I started squirting him. He caught on to that game really quick, so I taught it to the others as well. Even my father who was not known to be partial to cats or wasting milk got in on the act. Most of them would chase the stream all over, so it was amusing.
My personal favorite, Kit, would not move for anything though. You had to hit him right in the mouth before he would bother. I don't want to say he was lazy, but once when a cow stepped on his tail. He just looked up at me an meowed until I made her move her foot. Then he flicked his tail out of the way but didn't move otherwise.
Used to look me up when he got back from a hunting trip and tell me all about it. I miss that cat. Eventually got a bit too slow and lost a race with a coyote. Dad didn't tell me about it till I was in college. Fraid he'd hurt my feelings. I guess he was right unless that drop over there on the keyboard is just drool. --gk

3:57 PM  
Blogger Jean said...

Don't you just love it when they get that "wrinkled forehead" and you can practically see them think.

Xena is almost three months old but has the wrinkled forehead, figure it out thing down.

2:42 PM  

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