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Just the one


The beginning of my commute is a long, straight bicycle ride with fields on either side. On my left, an arable field with a crop growing in it. On my right, a flock of sheep. Like a big flock of sheep – the field is nearly a mile long.

In that whole big flock, there is one — 1 — black sheep. I find this inordinately pleasing. I can’t settle until I’ve spotted her and yelled hello in the morning (and the afternoon).

One of these days, somebody I know is going to drive up behind me with the window down and hear me shouting, “HELLO! HEY! Sheepie! WOOWOO! Hello, how are you today?”

So I went to Google Images Search to find a picture I could doctor, entered “flock of sheep”…and you’d be amazed how many pictures I got of a flock of sheep with one black ewe. (The one I used I stole from here). It must be a thing sheep farmers do for some reason, but I can’t find an explanation online.

She seems to get along with the other just fine. I suppose she doesn’t know she looks any different, and the others aren’t sure they aren’t black sheep themselves. Yes, sheep have just about that much brain power.


Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: January 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Well, there’s this: https://is.gd/QX4z3h
Sounds a little post hoc ergo propter hoc to me, but it does appear to have been field-collected.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: January 22, 2018, 9:32 pm

I think it would be funnier if the farmer got in the ditch and answered you.

Send me his/her address so I can write!

And yes, I can see that now –
“Crazy Yank, thinks I have time to lurk in a ditch waiting for a weasel to ride by on a bike!”

And @hark
I was with all that, until they recommended using a red hot horse shoe to cure bewitchments.
That’s not how it’s done at all. You need to throw three small dwarves across a ditch and then throw them back again, while reciting any random part of King Lear.

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: January 22, 2018, 9:52 pm

Well, I wasn’t necessarily endorsing any of it, @durned; just pointing out that it does sort of sideways pertain to the question of “why one black sheep in a flock.”

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: January 22, 2018, 10:06 pm

You sure it is a black sheep?


Comment from Rud
Time: January 23, 2018, 2:36 am

Often a black sheep is a genetic sport, the offspring of white parents. They just show up every so often. This is taken advantage of by using a specific ratio of black sheep to white to give a quick way to estimate if all are present. In the western US a band of sheep (1000 head) will usually have 1 black sheep for every 100 sheep. If you can see 10 black sheep, then the whole group is probably still there.

Comment from Pawan Sharma
Time: January 23, 2018, 8:57 am

Nice post!!

GRS shoes offers Mens shoes in varied designs and colors.

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: January 23, 2018, 12:57 pm

Is it just me, or is it quite awhile since you’ve had spam appear in an active thread?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 23, 2018, 6:15 pm

Gosh, look at that, Can’t Hark. You’re quite right. When I notice spam, it’s almost always in some old thread. Very often multiple spams in the same old thread (which is why Ace’s site will auto-ban you if you post in an old thread).

Duly neutered.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 23, 2018, 6:16 pm

Thanks for that, Rud. Makes good sense.

Many of our local flocks are pretty purebred, but I don’t suppose that stops the occasional sport.

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: January 23, 2018, 7:13 pm

Yes, I’ve wondered sometimes about the tendency of spammers to flock together in old threads–do you suppose it’s some kind of magnetic effect? 🙂

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: January 24, 2018, 1:42 am

It’s probably in the Magna Carta somewhere that all flocks must contain one black sheep.

Otherwise it would be not only monotonous, but too obviously a metaphor and we’d have all sorts of tedious people (primarily on the left) lecturing and scolding and hectoring the rest of us about White Sheep Privilege.

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