So, our sheep paddock is fairly close to the stone wall which forms the boundary between us and one of our neighbors. They had guests over today. I was out doing afternoon chores and had already fed the sheep and was up feeding and watering the chickens. Our poultry are near the house, and I was in the chicken pen refilling their water, when I heard a deep male voice:
"BAA-A-A-A-A-AAAA" (rinse, repeat)
I look over past the sheep paddock and there is one of my neighbor's visitors, a guy in shorts and no shirt, up on the stone wall baa-ing at the sheep, who were eating and not terribly interested in the strange human making noises at them.
I don't think the man noticed me where I was standing in the chicken pen, but then I went into the duck pen with the hose to refill their water tub. By then the man had been joined by his wife or girlfriend and a toddler-aged child on the stone wall. He was continuing his serenade of the sheep who continued to ignore him.
When I moved into the duck pen and began filling the water tub and staring at these people, I think they saw me because they quickly climbed down off the wall and told the little girl to "say bye-bye!", presumably to the sheep (who still didn't care).
Now, who hasn't driven past a field with cows and said "Moo" out the window? But, I have yet to walk up to some farmer's field or barn yard and stand there mooing at his cows. And I have to wonder if I appeared in this person's yard and started barking at his dog or talking baby-talk to his toddler, exactly what he would think of it? I doubt he would appreciate it. He'd probably call the cops and have me arrested. However, for some reason, he thought it was OK to stand on my stone wall and "BAA" at my sheep. Not that it caused any harm... but... WHY?
I do not understand some people.
Actually? Sheep are a novelty to most people, something they do not encounter everyday, unlike dogs. Something people (like me) travel to petting farms to visit and pat on the head and watch and smile at. If I was visiting friends who lived nextdoor to sheep I would have probably done a bit of baa-ing, myself, as I’ve done at petting zoos (and watched others do). I didn’t find that man’s behavior odd at all, for farms are lovely things to be shared with suburbanites, I think. (And I also understand shyness with people, but comfort with animals. Alas.) :) Blessings, Debra
I understand what you’re saying Debra, I really do. There is a fine line however, and in my mind, they crossed it. Maybe I’m too territorial, or overly protective of my animals. But I’m not running a petting zoo. Now, if they had walked down the road and up the driveway and politely asked if they could see the sheep with their daughter, I would have been happy to take them over to see them, and would not have been upset if the man had decided to “BAA” at them then. But, they did not ask permission, and I think the fact that they climbed down off the wall when they saw me watching them says a lot. If they had stayed in my neighbor’s yard and done their “baa-ing” that would have been different too. As I said, it’s a fine line, but to me an important one.
I’ll tell you another story. We have a right-of-way through the property for the man who owns the property behind us. He was having some logging done. One day, one of his friends buzzed through in her SUV with two big pit bull-type dogs in the back. She went to his property and pulled into his log yard, and one of the dogs jumped out the window and started sniffing around (I found out later he nearly bit the logger). She then got the dog back in the car, and started driving back out. She stopped her car at the closest point to the sheep paddock, and let her dogs bark and growl ferociously out the passenger side windows at them. I came up on the driver’s side and said “HELLO” rather loudly. I was not projecting much of the friendly farmer at this point, I’m afraid. She started talking about how her dogs had never seen “wildlife” before and how they were so excited (I thinking, yes, I can see that they would like to rip the heads off my sheep - can you?), and then asked a couple questions about the sheep, which I answered briefly in a monotone, while staring coldly at her dogs, who were now barking and growling ferociously out the driver’s side windows at me. She left fairly quickly. She’s been back a few times since, but notably without her dogs.
I realize not everyone sees farm animals on a daily basis. I know they are curious and that’s great. But, for some reason some people seem to lose their common sense and knowledge of common courtesies and I don’t know why this should be. I guess it’s one of the great mysteries of life. :)