1. Be dumb. This is a requirement if you want to (not) herd sheep.
2. Purchase some sheep. Bring them home. Put them in a pasture. Make sure the pasture is at least 5 acres. This way you have lots of room to cover/walk/run when herding the sheep into the barn. Smart, experienced herders would probably only put them in a small fenced in area attached the barn.
3. Make sure you have small children. Preferably one small enough that must be carried. This really helps with herding.
4. Make sure you don’t start your task of herding until the sun has gone down. Bright light only helps you to see better. Real shepherds don’t need it.
5. Make sure you and your herding buddy take turns being grumpy. This way only one of you is saying how stupid we are at one time.
6. Shake some grain at the sheep. When this doesn’t make them follow you (like you read it does on the internet), set the grain on the ground. Then your guardian dogs can eat it. Pick up the grain so the dogs don’t eat it. Keep shaking the grain. The internet only tells true stories.
7. Consider leaving the sheep out for the coyotes since you can’t get them to safety. Because your guardian dogs are only puppies and probably can’t provide the needed protection for your sheep to be left out at night. If you waited until your dogs were ready to protect, they would have missed the window when bonding occurs.
8. Walk behind the sheep. Make sure you walk at least 3 of the 5 acres. Repeat five times. Wonder how Jesus does his shepherding thing. He probably gets frustrated too.
9. Get your five year old in the mix. She can help. Actually, she was kind of helpful. She was able to get really close to the sheep (right before they ran again).
10. Decide that the Escape SUV would help you since begging the husband to just leave the sheep out failed. Slowly drive the Escape around the pasture. This actually worked. Three of the sheep ran into the barn. So what if it was the wrong barn. They are safe!
11. Watch the lone sheep circle around the barn saying “baaah”. Feel really sad for the lone sheep. Have one person stand in the barn with the three sheep so they don’t escape. Have the other person follow the lone sheep.
12. Take turns standing in the barn. Try making “baaaah” sounds so the lone sheep will walk through the open door. Hope the neighbors can hear your “baaahing” so they know you are serious about sheep farming.
13. Thirty minutes later start worrying that your lone sheep will die from stress. Feel awful for being a terrible farmer. Decide that letting a horse out will help. Then the sheep won’t be alone.
14. Take the children inside. It is chilly and pitch dark. Leave hubby in the barn and hope the sheep walks in herself. Call your mom. She can probably help, right?
15. Pop popcorn for the kids and turn on the TV. Eat a few handfuls so you have energy for herding.
16. Mom arrives in pajamas. Explain the situation. Return to herding. Put the horse up since she is not helping. She is actually making it worse by chasing the lone sheep.
17. Now two adults can herd the lone sheep. It works just as well as one herding.
18. Bring the Escape back into the mix. After all, it got three in earlier. Drive around the pasture slowly. Watch the lone sheep walk past the open barn door a few more times.
19. Try to convince hubby to let the three sheep out of the barn so the lone sheep isn’t alone. This failed.
20. Pray. Should have probably put this as step 1.
21. Stop guarding the barn door. So what if they get out? At least they will be together.
22. Take the Escape, the pajama clad grandmother, the hubby and corner the sheep so she must go in the barn. Almost pass out when she actually enters the barn! Cheer like your team just won the Super Bowl!
Some people spend 90 minutes watching a movie. We spent it putting our sheep up the first night. Again, we weren’t smart. Tomorrow is a new day!