So I must take a minute and comment on a farm-related topic, but not our farm. The topic is a youtube link being passed around called “Extreme shepherding.”
I’ve been sent the link by many people. The first time I watched it my mouth dropped open. What? That’s impossible! Sheep would never do that. Then I realized the unbelievable parts were generated on the computer, and I found it funny.
But the more I chatted with people, the more I realized that many people actually believe the video depicts reality. That’s almost funnier than the video itself. (Sorry—if you were drawn in and believed it, I’m laughing with you, not at you.)
I suspect people are easily convinced because of the skillful editing job. The video shows some real sheep, some real border collies, and some real men. There’s herding going on, sheep baaing, and whistling for the dogs. You think, Hey, that’s cool.
Then the camera pans way back so you’re looking at a far hill, supposedly the one with the sheep. The dogs suddenly herd the flock into the shape of a huge sheep that begins walking across the hill. Ha! Funny, but impossible.
Then you once again see reality—men attaching coats to the sheep that light up. Dusk falls. You see the far hill again, and it’s dark. The only lights are attached to the sheep, and now the dogs are herding the sheep into a game of Pong. (Google this if you’re too young to remember the now-dinosaur of a video game.) Then they’re herding them into a fireworks display.
Uff-da, people. First, sheep won’t run like that in the dark. They can’t see where they’re going. Second, border collies are brilliant, but they can’t split up flocks into exploding fireworks. Unfortunately the world’s expectations of these brave dogs have now been unfairly raised, and people will expect them to herd sheep into the shape of the Mona Lisa. I see therapy in many of their futures.
The ‘night’ scenes are computer-generated. But because the video showed real men, dogs, and sheep first, your brain wants to believe that’s what you’re seeing.
Here’s the link, but remember, it’s not real!