Thursday, August 14, 2008

Maa-Maat and the Blackberry Patch

Sheep are not the most intelligent of animals. I love them to pieces, but they are just not very bright. A good example is the trouble Maa-Maat got herself into this week.

The three lambs had been out grazing around the barn for a couple of hours while I did chores in the barn. No problems at all. Everything was just as it should be, but then Maa-Maat started maat-ing very loudly. From the tone, I could tell something was wrong. Well, from the tone and the fact that Merlin and Rachael started screaming also.

When I got around to the side of the barn, I could see that Maa-Maat had managed to get herself caught in a blackberry patch on the side of a steep slope. She was in so deep that I could just barely see her head sticking out.

For any other animal, this wouldn't be such a problem. It may get a few scratches, but it would manage to push out and through the briars. For a sheep it's a bit different because 1) sheep have wool that gets caught up in the briars and 2) a sheep's brain is about the size of a very small, very dry peanut.

I managed to get part of the way down the slope and rattled a grain bucket to try to coax her out. She would struggle against the briars to come to me, then because she's a sheep with only a tiny little sheep brain, she'd get distracted by a berry and stop to eat. I'd rattle the bucket again, she'd struggle some more, then spot another berry and stop to eat. This went on for quite a while. Since I couldn't risk going any further down the slope without falling, I was pretty much at a loss as to what to do. Luckily the woman who was weedeating for us finished up and came by. Her balance was much better and she was able to scramble down the slope to Maa-Maat and help her find a way out of the briars.

It seemed that during this, Maa-Maat's thoughts went something like this: I'm trapped--Panic! Oh, that looks tasty. Help! Help! Wait, is that another blackberry? Yummy. PANIC! PANIC!

She's not unusual. From what I've seen, sheep have incredibly short attention spans. In this day and age when we are told to "live in the moment," sheep have gone all of us one better--They live in the second.

All in all, not a bad thing.....

As long as you stay away from the blackberry patch.


  1. ha ha HA!! This story was hilarious - very well written! Love your description of the size of a sheep's brain (I've never really considered a very small, very dry peanut before) and what was going on in funny little Maa Maat's brain as she was trapped eating blackberries....hee hee :-)

  2. hi pamela,tanks,i try speak inglish hahahahaahaha,congratulation for the photos and farm,beatifull place,i belive are fantatic place,tanks so much,for the words about the photo TUNEL OF TREES.YEAH

  3. Sheep with ADHD? hehe

    We don't have any blackberry brambles so I have not seen our sheep act so silly yet. But I love the way you wrote about yours.
    You truly have the gift for story-telling and I'm so glad that you visited my blog so I could discover yours.

  4. This had me laughing out loud for about fifteen minutes. When I read your comment that a sheep's brain is about the size of a very small, very dry peanut my fathers face popped in my mind. That would be exactly what he would have said with a crinkly eyed grin shaking his head.