I did a post once about Sultan the shepherdess, but I didn't mention another shepherd who takes his flock up the hill behind our house to graze.
I don't know his name. He is a small wiry man who has sight only in one eye. His wife is very big, twice his size, and she seems to henpeck him somewhat. She walks behind the flock shouting orders to the shepherd, until they get to our lane, then he takes over and she returns home...he seems to give a huge sigh of relief at this point.
He has had a series of dogs over the years to help him herd his sheep. Since we moved here I often give him biscuits for them, and bones when Mr A brings them from the butcher shop. At the moment he brings just one dog with him, a kangal mix, who appears to have no interest in controlling the sheep. The sheep wander off in all directions and the dog just glances at them and does nothing. He's actually taken quite a shine to Poppy, and is more interested in sniffing her through our gate, which is even more of a distraction.
The shepherd normally passes between 5.30 and 6.00am at this time of year. Sultan follows about half an hour later from the other direction. Sometimes they arrive at the same time and the sheep get mixed up and confused (actually I think sheep always seem confused). Not that it matters of course, because they all have ID clips in their ears, so get sorted out later. They all return a couple of hours later and repeat the performance early evening.
I'm usually up feeding my dogs around this time in the morning, so I make sure I don't let them out for a run until the sheep have passed. Last evening when the shepherd passed by he stopped to talk to me. I have so little confidence in my ability to understand this language, and to be honest the village dialect doesn't help me to grasp what's being said. I get the gist of it, and after the conversation has ended, I try to re-run it in my mind in the hope that I've understood.
He was saying something about letting my dogs out for a run, but I couldn't make out whether he was telling me I should or shouldn't do so. This morning after my dogs had been fed I opened the gate and let them out. Just at that point the shepherd, sheep and the useless sheepdog arrived. The shepherd smiled, and I did my best to concentrate on what he said, which was that I should let them run with him, the sheep and his dog, and he would bring them back 2 hours later.
Wonderful! Last night I had no sleep because there were dogs barking all over the village, and mine insisted on joining in. I so envy the Turks who seem to be able to sleep through any amount of noise. I can hear a dog barking miles away and I'm wide awake. So I was pleased at the prospect of going back to bed for a couple of hours and a bit of peace and quiet.
It didn't quite work out though, as my three returned 15 minutes later. I guess they are getting so used to their home comforts that they don't want to be away from them for too long! Maybe we'll try again later.
No sleep for me, but I am feeling much better today and my appetite has returned. The stomach bug seems to have crawled away so I'm heading off to Milas this morning for a bit of shopping and a Lavazzo coffee. If I can stay awake!