In the service of two kings, I fight bravely in two wars, I swing my…
This is Sophie.
She lives on a Farm.
She is a Shepherdess.
This is her dog, Missy.
Together, Sophie and Missy take care of her flock of sheep.
Today, Sophie and Missy have woken up early because they have some important work to do on the Farm.
Today Sophie and Missy are moving her flock of sheep into a new field.
Part of Sophie’s job as a Shepherdess, is to make sure that her sheep always have plenty of fresh lush grass to eat.
Before Sophie and Missy can move to her flock into their new field, she must first count all the sheep to make sure that they are all there.
After she has counted each sheep, Sophie picks up a bucket of grain that she has taken with her to lead the sheep to their new field.
Sheep love grain, so the best way to get a flock of sheep to follow you is to shake a bucket full of grain and they will follow the sound and the promise of a nice snack.
Once Sophie and the flock have reached the top of the field with Missy following behind, Sophie opens the gate into the lane so that she can lead the sheep down the little road and into their new field on the other side.
Sophie and Missy always move the flock in this way, with Sophie at the front and Missy following the flock behind.
This way all the sheep stay together, and none can get left behind or lost.
Missy is an excellent dog to work with sheep, because she is a special breed of dog known as a Sheepdog.
With Missy following behind, Sophie starts walking down the lane leading the flock to their new field.
Just then, Sophie sees a man come around the bend in the lane on his bicycle.
He is going very quickly, and Sophie tries to stop him from riding into the flock of sheep.
But she’s too late, and the man rides straight into the middle of the flock.
The sheep scatter this way and that, and run back down the lane in the wrong direction.
“Oh no!” exclaims Sophie.
By then, the man on the bicycle had come to a halt and was in the middle of the lane watching all the sheep running off in different directions.
“Sorry.” said the man to Sophie.
“That’s alright” she replied.
Once she had made sure that the man was okay, she shepherded the sheep that she could find still in the lane and made sure that they were safe in their new field, counting them as they went in.
Then she started off back down the lane after the sheep that had run away.
Sophie had lost sheep before, and she knew how much work it was going to take to find them all again.
She started by walking back towards the farmhouse, as she knew that her flock of sheep would most likely run back to the farm where they felt safe and at home.
Lucky that she did, because as soon as she and Missy arrived back at the farmyard, she found some of the lost sheep hiding in the tractor shed.
Then, she found some more sheep nibbling on the spilled grain and hay at the front of the feed shed.
Then she found the last of lost the sheep laying down in the cool shade of the lambing shed.
One by one she put all the lost sheep into a small pen to keep them together and counted them again.
As she finished counting them, she realised something terrible.
Where could she be?
Now that all the others were safe, Sophie and Missy started to look for the last lost sheep.
Sophie started by looking back in the first field, maybe she was still in there? But no. There was no sheep.
Then, Sophie and Missy looked in the woodland behind the farmhouse. But no. There was no sheep there either.
Exhausted, Sophie and Missy walked back to the farmhouse for a short break and a cool drink before looking some more.
Just as Sophie was getting a nice cold drink, she looked out of the window into the farmhouse garden, and who did she see there?
The last lost sheep!
She had made a terrible mess stomping on plants in the garden, pulling all the clothes off the clothesline, and nibbling all the flowers off their stalks.
“Oh no!” said Sophie.
As quickly as she could, Sophie pulled her boots back on and she and Missy lead the last lost sheep back down towards the pen to join with the others.
Now that all the lost sheep were back together, Sophie and Missy slowly, and carefully, lead them back down the laneway and safely into their new field full of fresh yummy grass.
This time, being very careful to make sure that there were no more lost sheep.
A Message From Jessie
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