Mama Sheep vs baby Lambs = Fight Club. The Bitches.

Fight Club: Baby Lambs.

Fight Club: Baby Lambs.

We love “our” Sheep.  Every year, “Ed the Sheep Guy” brings us a whole flock of mamas and babies to mow our Vineyards before “budbreak” — when the vines swell tiny buds into growing the new Vintage.  This year, Ed brought us 90 sheep.  A good 50 of them baby Lambs.

Sheep are fantastic at helping us grow organic grapes.  We seed legumes, fava beans, and mustards before the rainy season (November-ish) in anticipation of the Sheep arriving in early Spring (March-ish). The Sheep have homing beacons for eating these delicious greens and flowers down to the nub. Getting into the hard to reach places between each vine.  (Grasses can attract unwanted pests and blight into a “cleanly grown” vineyard like ours.)  So Sheep are monumental in helping us.  They eat EVERYTHING.  Then they poop.  A Lot. Leaving behind nitrate rich fertilizer that their sharp hooves burrow into the soil while aerating simultaneously.   And they are so darn CUTE too! So sweet, dense, and delicious.

Or so we thought.

Before dawn, we awoke to the sounds of Soccer Practice.  Sounds of running defense, grass being roughly moved, and bodies colliding.  We looked out from our bedroom window once it began to get light and peered into our vineyard.  We were surprised to find EVERY single lamb playing rough-house on the Bocce Court.  As in all 50 of them! Running back and forth.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.  Aggressively “playing.” Lots of poop. Dean sort of ran a fake-football commentary for a few as the lambs, chased, head-butted, body checked, and humped each other.  (No other word for it).  The choice comment up to that point was “they are so funny Mama! And yummy!” (I love my kids).

And then, a large Mama Sheep body-checked a baby lamb BACK onto the Bocce Court. A small one.  She forcibly did NOT let this little guy back up into the grassy Merlot Block. She went back to grazing — as were the other Mama Sheep.  And we kept watching her (and a few other Mamas) physically hip-check or head-butt all Lambs who tried to come back into the Vineyard for grass.  With the sounds of big-skull-onto-little. Keeping the grass for themselves.  And letting baby Lambs fight it out for dominance.  And for grass, presumably.  On the Bocce Court. Those bitches.

Mama Sheep: Serious Bitches Today.

Mama Sheep: Serious Bitches Today.

Rather a sheepish moment of reality for these grape growers.  It looked to us there was enough grass to go around…but maybe not according to the Animal Kingdom.  So I turned on Dinosaur Train (PBS) for the kids.  Loud.  And Dean is now off to buy several bales of sweet hay for the sheep to eat.  As we don’t move them ’til Monday to greener pastures.

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