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Mar 25, 2008

These sheeps are on-message

Writes Maggie C.: "Sheepdogs are trained to obey their master's every word. So when farmer David Kennard decided one of those words would be "Spring", his dogs did not hesitate. They rounded up the flock on the hills of Mr Kennard's north Devon farm and, with a little help from their master, created a picture that reminds us that, whatever the weather, this is officially the first weekend of Spring. The scene did call for a careful scattering of feed to make the sheep form themselves in the shapes of the six letters..."


"...However, it was down to the team of Collies—who everyone knows border on the brilliant—to have the last word. They circled the 200-strong flock and kept them from wandering off-message.

Three of David's five working dogs – Mist, Fern and Jake – were employed to help create the perfect lettering, which took three hours to achieve."

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It's Sheep-tastic! Sheep-a-rific!

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 10:53 AM

Oh, and also, blllleeeeennn! :)

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 10:53 AM

This is nothing less than incredible if it's true. Border collies are actually little geniuses (geni?)but this, this defies all...everything. Three hours? I can't stick to any job for three hours. Just, like, wow.

That is all.

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 10:57 AM

Oh, and also, blllleeeeennn! :)

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 10:59 AM

omg, are you kidding? this is for real?????!!!! i knew sheepdogs were amazing, but to accomplish herding at this degree is incredible!

extra kibble all around!

and as to the sheep - may i have some yarn pleeez?

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:06 AM

I think they did this by putting food down in the shape of the letters. I watch a goodly amount of detective shows, so I'm an expert!

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:09 AM

Wool you get a load of that!

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Wow! this is like the movie Babe on crack!!

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Emerson... it says they put down food in the text...

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:12 AM


 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:14 AM

I think this has to be my new wallpaper if I can figure out how to get it there.. hmmm ..

Mary (the first)
 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:15 AM

I love how there's one random sheep attempting to dot the "r" - it's like he was supposed to be part of the dot of the "i" and got distracted.

Can this farmer come to my house and convince my beagle not to jump at the door like a ping pong ball every time I pick up the leash? Now *that* would be impressive.

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:15 AM

Awww I bet the dogs were really excited with their job. I love watching collies try to herd people instinctually.

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:17 AM


 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:18 AM

This is totally and completely redonkulously awesome.

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:22 AM

Mary - right click and choose - "set as background" but I'd do it after you actually opened the picture up larger in another window.

And OMG! This is why I loved my 2 border collies - Jake and KittyKatt. And I adore sheeps too, even though they aren't too smart.... neither am I so I hope someone loves me too.

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:23 AM

Border collies are so smart. I knew they could count - but spelling? I'm sooo impressed.

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:24 AM

I ♥ the little deviant that dotted the "i." LOL

And Carrie, a dog named KittyKatt? That's so awesome!

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:29 AM

Ahem, I meant to say dotted the "r."

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:30 AM

I want to see Mist, Fern, and Jake!

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:31 AM


 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:31 AM

wow .. this is amazing!

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:42 AM


Roll over for a link to each dog's page. They are amazing!

[fixed URL... - Ed.]

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:54 AM

Spring has sprung.
The grass has riz.
The little bird is on the wing.
The little bird is on the wing?
Ain't that absoid, I thot the wing was on the boid?

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:58 AM

Are you kidding me? This made my day. Thank you sheepies. And collies. And Farmer.

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 12:05 PM

Baasome! That took some work, man.

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 12:08 PM

Psh. This isn't hard. Sheep are like sheep, they'll do whatever. :-P

And it's just like some bleating heart liberal to go all nature-boy on us.

(kidding -- by the way, the cream products from Devon are the best in the world)

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 12:14 PM

Furbabies - did you make that up??? I love it!! as i have said before - i come to co more for the comments than for the photos - which are no less amazing tho ...

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 12:58 PM

No, I didn't make that up. I heard it many years ago at a friends house. Her dad said it and it has stuck in my mind ever since. So, every spring I say it to my kids, who still groan, to celebrate spring. Glad you enjoyed it. Pass it on.

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 01:09 PM

Furbabies' poem is a combination of two I've heard:

Spring has sprung
The grass has riz
I wonder where the flowers is?


Spring, spring,
Beautiful spring!
All the birds are on the wing.
My, my,
How absurd --
I thought the wings were on the bird!

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 01:22 PM

Hey, you two stray sheep, back in line!

This is so redonkulously brilliant. Who cares about what crop circles have to say, when you can read sheep formations.

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 01:36 PM




 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 01:46 PM

Pheas: Neat! I didn't know that. Thanks, I love both those poems too!

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 01:57 PM

I made this pic into my pc wallpaper. The image just makes me so happy. I can almost smell the fresh country air!
P.S. To make the image into your pc wallpaper just right click on the image and select "set as background image".

Sweet Pea
 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 02:02 PM

I'm sorry - I smell Photoshop...

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 02:11 PM

Bahh ram ewe. Bahh ram ewe. To your sheep, your breed, your clan be true. Bahh rammm ewwwweee!

This is probably the best picture, EVER.

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 02:38 PM

OMG peeps check out the link to their website, it is sooooooooo great! They have a little movie called "Puppy Film." Too cute, it even has a duckling yawning - gah! I'm now a puddle of goo! Those dogs are AMAZING!!

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 02:41 PM

I also set it as wallpaper, it just cracks me up. I can't wait for the first time one of my coworkers sees it .. bwwwahhha hahaaaa

Mary (the first)
 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 02:55 PM

although .. where are the dogglets in the photo? I don't see them.. I see a couple of very small black dots but they seem too small ..is that them??

Mary (the first)
 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 02:56 PM

Oh people, please: that picture is clearly Photo-sheeped.

click here
 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 03:14 PM

Here's a link to the original article from The Telegraph, which includes some history about the doggers:


 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 03:18 PM


"Its springtime for Hitler and Germany!
Winter for Poland and France!"

Or, if you like

Spring is here, Spring is here.
Life is skittles. Life is beer.
I think the loveliest time of the year is the spring.
I do, don't you? 'Course you do."

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 03:19 PM

I sense Photoshop at work. Still... a lovely image.

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 03:29 PM

This is such a fun idea!

And it's perfectly framed. I hope it's not photoshopped. Just because.

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 03:45 PM

That is completely brilliant and awesome! Hooray for sheep, sheepdogs, and smart shepherds!

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 04:06 PM

Spring is sprung,
De grass is riz,
I wonder where de boidies iz?
De boid's on de wing,
But dat's absoid,
I always thot de wing was on de boid.
- I saw it in a book by Quentin Blake (the guy who did the illustrations for a lot of Roald Dahl's books), but don't remember who it was attributed to. It's supposed to be Cockney, but "New Joisey" works too.

Oh, and Tom Lehrer is good too =) But readers on this blog might not take well to poisoning pigeons in the park, unless they're deemed uncute.

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 04:35 PM

OMG! The dogs have a TV series with the voice of Derek Jacobi! And Brian Blessed!


 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 04:48 PM

omg RosieLB now I will have the "pigeons" song earworm all day.. I will not give the full title in fear of harshing the qte of the peeps here.. lol (of course he was tewtally tongue in cheek.. wasn't he?)

Mary (the first)
 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 04:48 PM

Natch ;D

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 04:51 PM

rosieLB and Mary - I get that CONSTANTLY and reliably stuck in my head during spring. The opening, as you have it, is entirely appropriate. Of course, then my brain gets to the main song...

 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 05:07 PM

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