Shepherdess Amelia

It was Saturday evening. George was in Georgia visiting his parents. We were on the car carpet driving cars around. There was a knock at the door. Neighbor: "Are your sheep here, because there are some sheep out on the road." Well, they were not here, they were on the road.

We've learned our lesson. Bringing sheep home is a useless task. They will come home "wagging their tails behind them" -- eventually. And they are much happier to do this if there is good corn to eat in their feed bucket. Well, we didn't have corn. George suggested loading the kids up and heading out to get some corn (It was 7:00 p.m. -- almost bedtime).

I decided to grab their feed bucket. It was in my lap. Don't know why. I also thought perhaps we should take a lap around the neighborhood to see if we could spot them. Just as I gave up and put the car in reverse, Amelia spotted them. They were playing with some neighbor children a good half mile from the house. The neighbors were sure I had come to get them and bring them home. I had no idea what to do.

Amelia grabbed the red feed bucket, jumped out of the car and started calling to them. "Mittens" "Danny". They followed! They just kept following her. I followed behind her in the car, the neighbors followed me. We were a parade!

At one point, the sheep seemed distracted and perhaps they had noticed that the feed bucket was empty. Amelia scooped up some pebbles and tossed them in to make the noise of feed. Her trick worked.They followed her all the way home and back through the gate.

Amelia was barefoot the entire time (not so bad here in Florida) and in her absolute element. She loves a task and an important one at that. We were powerfully relieved to have the sheep back safe and sound.

And on top of it all -- before we had taken off to collect corn and sheep, we walked the perimeter of the yard to find the spot of escape. Amelia found it and fixed it without my help at all.



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