Saturday, May 19, 2012

A woolly bait and switch

I've just returned from a hectic couple of weeks attending the INTA annual meeting in Washington DC and the AIPLA spring meeting in Austin TX. Both conferences provide a crazy mix of educational, networking and social opportunities.

I wasn't the only one who was busy. Back home our new ram has been working his magic on our small flock. We usually borrow an end-of-the-line ram from a farmer and run him with our flock during April and May. A typical 5 month gestation period means that we will get through lambing before the AIPLA annual meeting in October. I wonder how many of my intellectual property law colleagues plan their farming cycles around international conferences?

Today it was time to return the big guy to the farmer we borrowed him from. I had a plan. I would bring the sheep into the yards. The yards include a sheep race. This is a kind of narrow chute where you put the sheep when you need to do stuff to them like treating them for diseases, internal parasites or external parasites. I was going to back the trailer up to one end of the race. Run the ram and a few of his girls into the race. Lift the ram's front legs into the trailer then push the rest of him in. What could possibly go wrong?

This guy is a lot heavier than me and has a low centre of gravity. Rams have a habit of charging at you when they get riled up. They have a really hard part of their skull which is at the perfect height for connecting with your knees. It's not a pleasant experience. I can also say with some authority that it is not nice being kicked in the shins (or worse) while trying to lift a ram's front feet into the trailer.

I employed the tried and true bait-and-switch technique. I loaded what I hoped was an attractive young ewe (female sheep) into the trailer first. Well, that sure made a difference! He just about couldn't wait to get into the trailer after that. Moments later he was down the road and unloaded at the farm he came from.

Now we sit back and wait for September.

1 comment:

  1. This is quite different from your usual posts, it's good to see something new once in a while. I didn't know you were into farm animals!


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