Friday, 31 August 2007

The Sheepdogs Tale

I have recently read a book called "Three Bags Full" by Leonie Swann, I will write a review soon, but it set me thinking. I have been rather authoritarian in telling all my stories myself, there are others involved who should perhaps be given a voice. It would also allow me to concentrate on my wip for a while, if it doesn't work then I won't have lost anything, except my fellow bloggers maybe!!!!

So here goes, over to you Mist, you can go first.

Woof woof woof, oh sorry I got a bit excited then, forgot you lot have a funny language, luckily us sheepdogs learn it an early age, at our Mama's knee to be precise. Sheepdogs are born not made, it's in the blood. Anyway this is my story, from the day I was born, how I came here and what I do every day.

Mama is a Belgian Sheep Dog, type Malinois, now I know that lots of you will be surprised to learn that I am a sheep dog[I know she was] as you will be more used to those black and white Collie types, they are not bad at the job but they don't have our presence. You never see a sheep talk back to us! Papa was a lurcher, "flighty" Maman called him but luckily the only traits I inherited from him were speed and the dislike of being treated for anything!!!

There were just two of us puppies, born in November 1996, Maman called us the "Chosen Ones" I'm not sure why.[*Note from Sheepish: there were actually 13 puppies but only homes for two so only two survived, I never told Mist.]

We had a great time ,free to roam the farmyard from daybreak to nightfall, as much milk as we could drink, bedtime stories from Maman, the occasional visit from Papa but he was always in a hurry. It was Maman who taught us our manners, what to do around the humans, they had to be obeyed, but they were fair and mostly left us alone. That is until the day they came with more humans, Maman told us to be brave as we now had to leave her for a life elsewhere. We would be working for these other humans who, if we behaved ourselves, would look after us.[* Collected at six weeks old from the Pig farmers.]

So that was when I first met them. It wasn't a good start. The first thing they did was put me in a big metal box[*a landrover] that seemed to float and bump over the ground, we sped away from the farm and I could see the fields moving up and down, closer and further away, it was a nightmare. I'm afraid to say that I disgraced myself I couldn't help it. I felt so dejected by the time the box stopped moving, but they were very kind, no raised voices or slaps on the nose. Maman had warned me what would happen if I didn't do as I was told.

I soon worked out that she was the Shepherd and she was the one I had to obey, she was the Boss and obediance is what I do. She was surprised at how quickly I learnt, I couldn't understand why until the other puppy [*a Basset Hound] arrived from England, but then that's her story. It did explain though why she was so delighted with my desire to please her!!!!!I had my own place in the Barn, they seemed to know that us working dogs need a space to call our own, where you can relax but be ready for any job that comes up. I like my freedom, come and go as I please, and because I know my boundaries I do not abuse this freedom. Unlike some dogs I could name!!!

I like the summer best when I can wander in and out of the space they call the kitchen, I have to knock in winter, they are not very hardy and have to shut the wind out. I am getting older now and spend more time with them than I used to when I was young, there were always so many exciting things to do then. I will have to tell you another day as I have some work to do now, she who must be obeyed is calling, and I must go. Back soon I hope.


liz fenwick said...

Thank you Mist, I enjoyed your story very much :-) Might even share it with my dd.

JJ said...

Oh, Sheepish, you did go and get the book. Fab. I've got it on my book shelf, but haven't got to it yet.