Sheep a Gateway Animal to Stupidity
It started with this little dog, who got very BIG. He is a Maremma sheepdog named Gypsy. He lived with us until his need to be in the place he truly belonged superseded our need to have him belong mostly to our place…But before he left us for pastures of sheep to boss around Boo liked to ride him. So my friend said “Mutton busting.” And it was a good joke for a long while.
Meanwhile back on the ranch, in homeschool when I was still trying to teach history to a history-hater, this fine ancient art work became Boo’s favorite piece of ancient art. We took it as sign; she was meant to ride sheep! We had no idea at the time she was a gymnasts waiting to happen. And now that I am looking at it, it might explain why her head is always out when she tumbles, drives big coach D nuts! >sorry, gym joke<.
Anyway, we thought Boo was getting her first big break into the sport when Utah Heritage State Park announced the annual Youth Rodeo, mutton busting included.
We signed her up for the Youth Rodeo (I am guessing if this is pre-gym she would have been about 5 yrs old, could even be younger) with a lot of really normal looking families. Families like us who we can only assume loved their children as much as we did.
On the day of the rodeo we tied the colored age category bandannas around their little necks & pin numbers to their back. This is where all logic ended. The youngest kids were lined up to go first. I believe now the reason is if they actually saw what was about to happen to them they would have all bolted for the relative safety of the petting pens and the old time Barber-Surgeon's chair!
And as it was, each one in succession either backed out before they hit the gate or got trampled in the mud by angry sheep. This however did not dissuade the parents, we keep lining up the kids. At this point most of the kids, hurt or not, were crying. The parents remained the driving force coaxing them down the fence line to the waiting Rodeo Clown and Sheepzilla.
I however am a really good mom so when Boo’s number was called I did the very same as everyone else did. I led Boo who was not crying but trembling fiercely to the starting gate. She climbed the fence letting the officials help her on the sheep. Then she suddenly dismounted & fled crying, a record breaking time back over the gates.
She was sobbing over her failure for about 10 minutes as 2 more kids provided their bodies as a dance floor for the sheep to tap dance on. She tried again. She climbed the fence, mounted the sheep, took instruction from the Clown, then raised her head and said, “The thing is I really don’t want to get stepped on by a sheep and I think the only way to NOT get stepped on is to NOT ride it.”
Her Papa snatched her up as she dismounted for the last time. She was still crying in little gasps but we were laughing at how stupid sheep can be. Did you know they will follow each other off cliffs?
Well yeah. You might look at it like that…