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Monday, 19 January 2015

A man and his dogs.

This magazine cover has a couple of family stories. M'reen

A Shepherd.
Will Mitton

A shepherd boy am born
To tend sheep all forlorn
Up hill and dale on open moor
Who on earth could ask for more
An when my dogs run wayout wide
To gather sheep that wish to hide
All through the night with lambs to tend
Thain mostly born as might will end
Soon tis morn ‘bout four o’clock
Skylark, grouse, the old woodcock
An when my day’s work comes to an end
I hope my ashes they will send
Up into’t heather wear wife’s are scattered
A shepherd’s life was all that mattered.

The spelling has been somewhat corrected but most of us are dyslexic.

Dad carved the shepherd’s crook out of a ram’s horn
and he straightened the shank from a tree of the hedgerow.
There are ‘rules’ governing a good crook, the only one I can remember
is that the span was that of a man’s hand, roughly four inches / 10cm
He often carved decorative crooks and became so regarded
that he was a regular judge at the local Country Fairs.
The first time he went to a trial he was so nervous that he couldn’t whistle
so he made himself a whistle out of a piece of folded tin with a little hole in the fold.
During one trial he gave the dog the wrong instruction,
his dog looked back at him and then did the job it was trained to do.
Dogs can be trained to International standard and this becomes a ‘pedigree’
and the dog’s dad sold were worth a lot of money.
When I was a child I heard my dad talking ‘sheep’ with another farmer;
I understood ‘and’ and ‘with’ of this strange language.

Wikipedia while interesting doesn’t tell much about crooks

You have the option of making a shepherds crook.

The crook is a great stick for hill walking as its length makes it easier to climb down steeps hills better. The crook is great to pull down fruit tree branches, catch sheep, geese etc. and for carrying your 'doggie bag' when taking Rover on his walks too!

A Man And His Dog is a popular British TV programme that covers the sheep dog trials
as closely as any sport.

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