Monday, April 21, 2014

Sheep watching in Switzerland

We had a fascinating lesson in sheep psychology this weekend while walking along the pristine countryside around Aubonne. (see Autumn walk in Aubonne for more on Aubonne's beauty).

Walking along an unfrequented wooded path we chanced upon a flock of sheep grazing. A sight so common that we didn't even give it a second glance.

However, the sheep had other ideas. We, or perhaps our dog caught the eye of one sheep.

Of course, what one does the rest must do as well. One after another each of them turned their gaze towards us.

Soon all of them had their eyes fixed on us in concentrated unison.

They stood frozen in that position for several minutes and then the same sheep who first began to look at us, decided he wanted a closer look. Sure enough, every one of the others followed.

They stood a few feet in front of us just staring with almost identically quizzical expressions on their faces. I stared back.  We did this for all of three minutes.
Sheep watching us. 
Then startled probably by a bark from the dog, one turned around, and of course so did the others. They scampered off.

But no sooner did they retreat a safe distance, once again one sheep (the same one, I am quite convinced!) stopped. Turned to look back at us. As if on cue, each one of the others became motionless, turned their heads and trained their gaze towards us in perfect unison.

And there they remained, motionless and focused as they watched us walking off into the distance.

Now I know what sheep mentality means.


  1. Before coming to Switzerland I had never lived so close to so many animals...sometimes I spend time watching cows or sheep and trying to attract them making strange sounds ...anyway alpacas are my favourite! When someone is staring at them they act like divas!

  2. Really Switzerland is a great place of cows and milk. This country is famous for calm animals.

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