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Thursday, 16 December 2010

Brrr and baa - the tale of Moïse the sheep's rescue

It has been cold here in France recently, just as it has throughout much of Europe.

Many parts of the country are bracing themselves for more snow on Thursday with daytime temperatures hovering around zero degrees Celsius or barely creeping above.

So what's needed perhaps is a cheerful animal tale guaranteed to warm the cockles of the heart is nothing else.

And here's one concerning a sheep named "Moïse" (or Moses in English) - a not entirely inappropriate name she was given (as will become clearer as you continue reading) following her "little adventure".

Image from Wikipedia, author Andreas Cappell from Erlangen, Germany

Moïse usually does her "ruminating" in the fields just outside the town of Bar-sur-Aube in eastern France.

Now sheep, you'll probably agree, are not blessed with the reputation of being the smartest of creatures when it comes to thinking for themselves.

In fact it could be fair to say that they're pretty low down on the IQ scale of things, with a strong instinct to "follow the leader" and go where the food is.

And if there's no fellow flock member around to follow then what is a sheep to do but stay put?

That's exactly what happened to Moïse who proved herself to be the quintessential ewe when she became separated from the rest of the flock by a couple of dogs at the weekend.

According to the regional newspaper, Libération Champagne, Moïse took refuge on a little island surrounded by shallow water in the middle of a field.

The only problem was that while she was there the mercury dipped well below zero, the water froze and Moïse was to all intents and purposes bleatingly-well stranded.

"Firefighters to the rescue" as a local unit from a nearby station was called in on Tuesday morning to help.

The ice was apparently only thin (perhaps Moïse hadn't realised) which meant the rescuers could approach in a small boat (see the picture accompanying the original report).

But as they inched forwards, getting ever closer, Moïse did what any self-respecting sheep would do and panicked, jumping into the icy water and managing to get herself stuck in the silt.

The lifeboat did a round of the island and by the time it had returned to the spot where Moïse had "taken the plunge" there she was, back where she had started.

Their second rescue attempt met with success and together - two men and a sheep in a boat - they headed across the ice to the safety of terra firma, where Moïse was given the once over to check that she was healthy, before "gambolling" off to join the rest of the flock.

Brrr and baa!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a nice tale! I have a Polish friend who had the misfortune of finding one morning a sheep that had drowned in his swimming pool - poor soul (the sheep that is).

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