Armed with a backpack full of necessities – lunch, sunscreen, water, a hat, sunglasses, a book – and a wooden stick with a blue plastic bag tied to the end, I set off into the never ending steppe with an army of sheep and goats (around 150 of them, although I never managed to complete a headcount. The problem with livestock is that they’re very much alive and things that don’t stay in one place for more than 5 seconds are a lot harder to count.)
I was breezing this whole herding task UNTIL…the vegetable patch incident!!! Which saw me diving through barbed wire, exhaustedly shouting CHA! CHA! as I ran in circles around the 10-15 goats that were greedily feasting on some-(hopefully unsuspecting)-body’s vegetable patch.
From there it pretty much downhill…I had gone from watching YouTube videos of baby goats to babysitting goats. It was the absolute dream UNTIL I could not remember for the life of me what the gated back entrance to the ranch looked like or even what colour the gate was for that matter. I found myself running around the herd in circles like an actual sheepdog, having a tantrum because they wouldn’t go where I wanted them to go. I clambered up and peered over neighbouring fences desperately trying to trigger some kind of mental map of the route home.
I am still get overly excited upon seeing a herd of goats – but don’t quick just at the chance to be their sole carers for the day anymore!!
Note: The key is to get them to the river as then there’s only one side to control.