The Other Sheep


One of the sheep was out one evening this week. Well, she’d been out for awhile. Sort of. It was Miss Cotswold. Several days earlier, she’d somehow managed to get from the third field into the middle field. We have the bucks in the first field. We’d separated the sheep and bucks with one empty field between them after Mr. Cotswold got a little over-excited with the bucks and threatened to bust the fence down between them.

Soon, the bucks will be coming up near the house to the new duck ‘n’ buck yard, then the sheep will have the run of all three pastures. In the meantime, we were waiting for the weekend to hustle Miss Cotswold back where she belonged since there was no rush. She doesn’t cause trouble with the bucks. That’s just Mr. Cotswold. So for a few days we had the sheep and the other sheep. But then she got out of there completely and was wandering around all over creation, or mostly just around the sheep field because sheep like to be with other sheep and she wasn’t really going anywhere.

But. We had to get her back in there. Can’t have a sheep wandering loose.

Awesome! A farmer job! I got my chore boots on and said, “Hang on, I’ll get my lasso.” Or my camera, but whatever. We’re gonna get that other sheep back where she belongs!

This whole event kept making me think of the book my dad wrote called The Other Sheep. It was published in 1963 by Vantage Press/New York.

The front cover flap reads: “It is of Cornelius, the centurion, that this novel tells, Cornelius and his beautiful wife, Damaris. Set in the splender, pomp, and glory of the Roman world, The Other Sheep brings to life the struggle to free Christianity from its provincial beginnings and make it a universal religion. Palestine, a seething pot agitated by the chicanery of Roman emperors and governors and the mounting pressure of religious zealotry, is, in this story, the setting for the love of Cornelius and Damaris. In these pages you will read of their passion, their joys and sorrows, and their place in the moving events of an era of upheaval.”

And so on. The book is somewhat heavy reading and I have to admit that I have never read the entire thing. Which is dreadful. I should read it! But….

“Living in an age fraught with religious prejudice and political intrigue, Cornelius, the first Gentile converted to Christ, is the epitome of the pattern of change, enlightenment, faith, struggle, defeat and victory that accompanied the onrushing tide of Christianity sweeping across the Judeo-Roman world during the first century of the Christian era. Never before or since have such forces been set in motion, and in The Other Sheep you will live with those who made the history of the time, share their visions of hope, sympathize with their weaknesses, and rise with them to the challenge of a new day.”

Still, one of the reasons I never doubted I could be a published writer was probably because it was quite ordinary in my family. My father had another book published called Words of Comfort, which is a book about the grieving process. It was written after my older brother (who I never knew) died in 1961 at the age of 13. He also wrote another non-fiction book about teaching and had a sermon series published. My father was a Church of Christ minister, and whenever he dealt with someone who had experienced a loss, he would give them a copy of his Words of Comfort book. He also wrote untold numbers of magazine articles and religious tracts. (You know those little pamphlets that they have in racks in churches. My dad wrote OODLES of those.) My mother wrote articles for Today’s Christian Woman and they both wrote regularly for Power for Today.

My dad gave me a copy of The Other Sheep in 1975 inscribed “To my sweet Suzanne who is a joy every day.” I’m a joy! See?

I’m a dearly added scribble on the printed dedication page as I wasn’t even born yet in 1963.

Every day is a good day to point out that my sister is older than me. Which means she’s quite old!


Back to the seething pot of the sheep pasture, agitated by the chicanery of Miss Cotswold.

I was petting the bucks, and wandering around a bit–somewhat like this post–and before I knew it, 52 had opened the gate and the she-devil let herself back in. Because sheep can be so difficult like that. I’m sure my help was indispensable. Though I didn’t do anything.

I had my chore boots on and that’s all that counts.


  1. whaledancer says:

    Your dad was right, you are a joy every day.

    (But you really should read the book. I bet you’d get insights into the author you didn’t get as his daughter.)

  2. Mother of a ROCKSTAR says:

    I don’t know about reading that book now…too early to think on that one. Kinda had me rubbing my forehead and I am a deacon. Anyway, you, your family and your other family (aminals), bring me alot of joy. I love CITR.

  3. Dianna says:

    If only ALL chores were that easy!!

    Love your Daddy’s handwritten notes.

  4. lavenderblue says:

    That book is exactly the kind that I look for at church rummage sales and used book sales. Those and biographies. Who am I kidding, I buy just about any kind of book. I line my stairway with them. No, on the stairs, not on a book shelf. Nearly all of them waiting yet to be read. (sigh!)

    Those boots look like they’ve been working really hard. Impressive.

  5. Glenda says:

    What a disappointment! All dressed up and no where to go (or something to do).

    Aren’t those kinds of round-ups wonderful.

    With animals you just never know.

    Your Dad’s book couldn’t hold a candle to the one I am slogging through: Anthony Trollopes ‘Framley Parsonage’. I am going to finish it…….

  6. Myrna Mackenzie says:

    Suzanne, I’m sure that sheep just saw you coming and ran back where she belonged, because you are a farmer (one look at your chore boots and she knew who was boss). Never underestimate the power of the boots!

  7. holstein woman says:

    I love when an animal does what they are suppose to. Thank God 52 opened the gate.
    If you go to the library (some you can) and get a little book on a disc and wear earphones and it reads to you while you are putting the sheep back in the pen. I really don’t know anything about them, but I have a friend who does that. :pirate:

  8. Melinda says:

    Glad the sheep didn’t make you chase her all over those mountains!

    You have been a very blessed lady. My favorite part of the entire post was your Daddy’s handwritten addition to the dedication and the added “My little angel.”

    I’ve been in a ill mood lately and for some reason your post today made me realize I need to focus more on the blessings and less on the stresses.

    Enjoy your weekend and thanks!

  9. joy says:

    I had my “chore boots” on all week, one disaster after another! At least we got chore boots, huh? You definately have writer roots in you. That’s amazing that your Mom and Dad wrote so many wonderful publications that have touched thousands of lives and continues to live on. I’ve often thought how much a blog can be a ministry, a way to reach out and possibly help another’s life even though in a small way. Your blog lifts us up, blesses our life with the peace that you enjoy everyday living in paradise!

  10. texwisgirl says:

    If all farm animals were that cooperative…

  11. Bonnie says:

    You must read that book! I am going to see if I can find it and I am going to read it. I love stuff like that. I’ll let you know.

  12. Chickenlady62 says:

    you can always throw the semi famous sheep quote around: “Sheep fear me, see them run” :whip: :sheepjump: a great spinoff from the more famous “fish” line ( you’ll be having those too in your pond , someday … right?)hehe

  13. iowacowgirl says:

    WOW I think that is so cool. Your dad was a prolific writer – and of serious matters; as was your mama. very cool. And he was a C of C minister? (must be cool…that’s my church 8-)).

    Glenda, I’m very impressed that you are reading Trollope!!

  14. Elaine says:

    Love the blog Suzanne, as always and love your comment Myrna about the boots. :sheep:

  15. Tess says:

    So great Suzanne. Thank you for all that you share with us!!

  16. Barbee' says:

    Wonderful post! Very interesting. And, I love that your mom was a fan of romance novels. You have such an interesting family of diverse interests and talents. No wonder your are who your are.

  17. morningstar says:

    Suzanne my mothers side of the family were all surnamed Dye. They lived in Norfolk England, did any of your family originate from there ?

  18. princessvanessa says:

    You were all ready for a challenge of getting Miss Cotswold back into the proper pasture and she made it anti-climatic by cooperating when 52 opening the gate. However, if you had had it in your mind that it would be a cake walk Miss Cotswold would have had you traipsing over half of West Virginia. Seems that it’s always that way.

  19. Judy Mitchell says:

    Suzanne, there are likely reasons unknown to any of us why we gravitate to this blog. I always thought my attraction here was to the farm life I left behind as soon as I could! 🙂 For me, farm life had it’s blessings and it’s hell. But I love the good memories of all the animals. But now another innate reason has come up…your dad as a Church of Christ minister. I was brought up in that church. I think my religious beliefs are a little more liberal now, and I’m no longer a practicing church-going member of that church. But this I can say for them: They formed my core beliefs about everything important, and they taught me to sing without any “cover-ups” from a piano or organ or other musical instrument. I love that I learned that there, because I love to sing and I don’t need music to do it. That church is still a huge part of my being, and I’m sure it is yours too. And that REALLY explains my attraction to you and your blog. Cheers!

  20. thunja says:

    You are ON Suzanne. ON. I LOVE this post. I’m sorry about the loss of your brother, it doesn’t matter that you never knew him it’s still a great loss. Have a great Sunday.

  21. Window On The Prairie says:

    Whew. That was easy. I thought you were going to have a rodeo on your hands. One of our cows got out last week, but then let herself back in because she found out her young calf isn’t big enough to jump fences yet.

  22. Ramona says:

    Glad you got her captured.

  23. morningstar says:

    Thank you for the link to your Dye family history Suzanne, it was really interesting and I appreciate it. I must get my son to dig our family history from his attic and have another look at that. I know we have a Dye family coat of arms from eons back but don’t remember a lot about it all now I am so busy with other things !!! Just as well it is all written down and that he keeps it. Ha ha.

  24. NANCY H says:

    Those are some mighty fine boots!

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