Prodigal Sheep


I don’t like it when the sheep get out. If one of the goats gets out, no problem. Usually, they come find me. Because they got tired of waiting for somebody to bring them cookies and are clip-clopping up the porch steps to fetch a few for themselves. When sheep get out, they don’t want anything to do with you. They weren’t looking for you and they really don’t want to chat with you, either. Or go back home. After all, the grass is always greener somewhere else. They’d just as soon keep going, thanks. They’re really NOT ATTACHED TO YOU.

So when I discovered Jester and her two lambs strolling down the road yesterday, I armed myself with what weaponry I had at my disposal. Sweet feed.

Jester eyed me suspiciously. She was, after all, enjoying her sojourn, and not the least bit interested in my company.

“Let me show you my tantalizing bucket,” I said.

The sheer deliciousness was impossible to deny. Others, still inside the pasture, came to its siren call, following us from the other side of the fence.

Babies go wherever mama goes.

I continued to lure her, spellbound, on the track of my fantastical bucket.

We reached the magical portal to safety. I disarmed the high-tech security sealing its confines.

And then someone, I think it might have been Jack, because he wanted that bucket for himself, said, “Jester, you should go to Paris.”



She turned. There was hope again. Because what else am I going to do? Chase her down and tackle her? Lasso her? I don’t have a lasso.

She weighed her options. The world was hers! Freedom! She’d go to Paris, get an apartment overlooking the Seine. She’d sell her art on the streets. Her babies would collect coins from passersby. They’d live on love–

–or they could live on that BUCKET.

That’s right. You remember the BUCKET.

I opened the gate and tossed the sweet feed from the bucket on the ground. In you go.

Don’t worry, Jester. You’ll always have Paris.


And then we repaired the break in the fence.

The End.


  1. Julie B says:

    Jester, Paris is overrated anyway! (not really~just trying to help).

  2. Michele Messier says:

    Food is always a good choice, its quicker than Paris.

  3. SuzieQ says:

    Show me food and I’ll follow you anywhere…LOVED the story of the little dog wanting to be a big dog…I just love that Boomer. :snoopy: :snoopy:

  4. Kathie says:

    We have the same feed bucket!!!!!

  5. Tracey In Paradise,Pa. says:

    Love your stories!!

  6. CindyP says:

    ๐Ÿ˜† Food will always win! I think you need to make more cookies…… it’s easier if they just come find you!

    The sheep could be Boomer’s job! Then he’s have another reason to be the big dog! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Connie Trippett says:

    We have that same feed bucket also and most of our horses will come to get some when they make their escape. All, except for my older daughters paint. He will only come to her after some running around the property.

  8. Diane says:

    Its a good thing they did not get far. Thanks goodness for the feed bucket. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Kelly Walker says:

    I love Jester’s face so much that I included it in the farm series that I am painting. I have started posting them on my blog. I hope you will take a look. ANd thanks again for allowing me to use your beautiful photos and animals as reference. They are all so cute!!! :happyflower:

  10. Johanna says:

    Jester, who can blame you? Of course you want to show your babies the world! Paris, St. Petersburg, Tokyo, Fiji! But you don’t have a pocketbook. Where would you keep your passports? Better to be where you have the folks trained to look out for you.

    A lot of help those dogs were!

  11. Tovah says:

    Aren’t your dogs supposed to help you? If your sheep herd gets much bigger maybe you should think about getting a border collie. They are amazing (when they are trained) however they are very high energy. They might drive you crazy and I’m not sure they’d fit in with the “laid back” vibe you have going on. Especially when you are snow bound in the winter. Never mind. You are doing just fine with the feed bucket:)

  12. Joni says:

    Snicker, snicker! You have such a way of telling stories about and through your farm animals, so entertaining. I think you should do a children’s book!

  13. Kathy Weisz says:

    I enjoyed your post this morning-

  14. Linda says:

    I still use the old metal one pound can. I have two of them left and will be upset :hissyfit: when they’re gone. They make a wonderful clanging sound to get the runaways attention. :sheepjump:

  15. Lisa T. says:

    “And then we repaired the break in the fence.

    The End.”

    Ahhhh if that were only true. More like:

    And then we repaired the break in the fence.

    The End, until next time, which will be soon or it may be later but in the future we will need to fix it again and again and again.


    Oh and Chock Full O’Nuts still uses the metal cans. I make my husband drink it just for the cans.

  16. Julia says:

    Any word on the Misses Cotswolds? Any more blessed events on the horizon? You can’t have too many lambs.

  17. IowaCowgirl says:

    Ha! You are a great writer!!! Thanks for another good wake-up message!

  18. MMT says:

    I too still use the metal cans for feed. I have some of the plastic ones that a neighbor gave me that I use to put my homemade laundry soap in. When our horses get out (which thankfully isn’t very often) everything depends on the mood of the Queen of Everything (our lead mare). Usually it’s buck up, fart and all five head for the riverbottom. Once she has had her walk about she will just stop and let you walk right up and put the halter and lead rope on, but she will usually give you a run for the money first. Once you have her, you have the whole herd, and they will all just follow along back to the pasture.

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      We have a few of the old metal cans! They are really good for when I’m getting the chickens to come back to the chicken yard at night!

      No word on the Misses Cotswolds yet. I look for new lambs every morning and have so far been disappointed.

  19. Barbee' says:

    Hmmm, I wonder if that is just the way of sheep, or, could it be because they were not yours from birth and not like part of the family. Is Annabell like that, I wonder.

  20. Just Kris says:

    Ahh, the power of the feed bucket, a.k.a. re-purposed coffee container!! We use the red kind ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. Nancy in Iowa says:

    We all want you to do children’s stories, but I think you’re already collecting them! The beasties are helping by providing the adventures, and when you have enough you’ll publish the book! Jester was just showing off her beautiful babies….does she have a passport hidden in that wool?

  22. Ulrike says:

    Maybe the next thing on your list of farm animals to collect, I mean adopt… should be a border collie. Either that, or Dookie needs to learn to herd.

  23. Marymac says:

    I love your stories Suzanne. Makes me want to come live with you. You could read me stories every day. { and I’m 62 years old }. lol

  24. JeannieB says:

    I noticed Coco in one pic acting like she sorta knew what to do!

  25. Shirley Corwin says:

    I just love your little animal stories. I wait for them!!! I’m like a kid!! Anyway, that’s how you catch horses too :)) Wouldn’t Boomer herd them back?? Maybe you need a couple more border collies : ))

  26. Conny says:

    Oh the magic of the blue bucket; it’s powers can make one come forth AND retreat!! The image of your sheep running off to Paris to live the beggar’s life makes me smile. Thanks for another happy morning. :>)

  27. Susan at Charm of the Carolines says:

    Men are like that, too. Just cook up some bacon and they’ll follow you anywhere!


    PS. Love your baby sheep!

  28. Merino Mama says:

    I had always been told that you shouldn’t give sweet feed to sheep because of the copper it contains because copper is toxic to sheep. I use All Stock from Tractor Supply. It’s cheaper than the sweet feed and definitely cheaper than sheep food and contains no copper.

  29. Estella says:

    Love the stories!

  30. Merino Mama says:

    Oh good. I just thought I’d mention it just in case. Would hate to see those sweet little babies or mamas sick. :sheep:

    P.S. Our Jacob mama Ginger finally popped last week and had twins! A Boy and a Girl.

  31. Karen says:

    It seems the animals always have the upper hand for a while when they get out. But sweet feed is a great tool for humans! Once, hubby let the goats out in the yard last autumn, and I was dumping out a pail of dirty water and was almost knocked down by the two mama goats who ‘thought’ it was sweet grain. OMG! Yesterday, he brought in more goats – free – but he doesn’t have fences up yet for them in the 1/4 acre. Not that one can fence a goat. Violet was tethered up the other day with BB (BillyBob) by her side – her twin had died during birth but BB is doing great. Dehorned yesterday along with Lillian & Billion, the other twins from Frieda, the rather mean goat with a sparkle in her eyes. Haven’t got much acquainted with the free goats. I talked to them saying, hey, who are YOU? as I didn’t know he got more goats, I was so busy with house renovations & cleaning up debris, who knew we had more goats in the barn?

  32. Kim Gibson says:

    This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship…

  33. Jill from Spencer WV says:

    I have a fantastical bucket just like that! I cut off the top edge though so it is easier to use and my goats love it just as much!

  34. lavenderblue says:

    So I’m reading this post and laughing and laughing, and then I think “Would I be so stinkin’ amused if those were my sheep headed to Paris?” I think not! I’m pretty sure I’d be pondering a good mutton recipe for dinner.

    Great story! And yes, children’s books, please. My husband teaches second grade and he’d read them to his class, so I’d have an excuse to buy them!

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