You know why sheep don't compete in obedience trials or take Mensa tests? Because their ability to solve complex, abstract problems is completely lacking. Even acting in their own best interest is, many times, above their pay grade.
Mr. Samson is one very lucky sheep. Our pal Gail and I got home from a fun day running around town spending a little bit of our Christmas money and she decided on a fluke to hang around and help me with the evening feeding. Halfway through the feeding of the south pasture gang, I noticed Samson, caught, but good, in the propped-up horse panel at the far end of the property. Oh great.
I called Gail over (thank the Lord she had decided to stay and help!). We distracted the other sheep with their dinner and shut them up in the pen. Then we were able to turn our attention to Samson who was getting a little frantic about his situation. As we got closer we noticed blood on the pipes of the panel and realized that he had repeatedly pinched the tips of his ears between his horns and the pipe until they bled. Poor baby!
It was like working a Chinese puzzle trying to figure out an angle that we could turn his head and tilt his horns to free him from the panel. The light was fading, and I didn't want to have to resort to cutting the pipe. Finally, we happened on the perfect twist of the neck and head, and he backed his horns out quickly from the trap.
He set out in a brisk trot to rejoin the other sheep, and I heaved a heavy sigh of relief. This is the kind of thing that proves fatal if the weather is hot and if the sheep stays caught for a long time.
Once again, Providence had smiled on us.
A happy aside: I got my hands on Samson's fleece while he was pinned, and it's very nice. Yummy, in fact.
And as a reminder, Jethro loses his sports package tomorrow. I hope we have a contrite, subdued wether to deliver to our new friend Missy, in exchange for her Shetland ewe Phoebe, next week. Of course, you'll get all the play-by-play right here.