A Travellerspoint blog

October 2012

The Home of Sheep

The moment I savored, the moment I cherish.

View A Thread of Silk on automidori's travel map.

Tiemenguan, August 18th 2012

"Ship! Ship!" I heard Peng Li cried out to me.

At a glimpse of thought, "A ship? Not even a boat? How did it sail up here? Noah's ark?"

Oh! Sheep! So many!

The first time I saw a herd of sheep like this was on my way from Jiuzhaigou to Chengdu. But at that time, my seat in the bus was inconvenient for taking pictures of the herd crossing the path in front of us, and the window on my side was covered with ice. Therefore, this time, I savored every moment.

Our car slowly rolled behind the herd. Ah, I should have just got off the car, so that I could get more up close... and personal.

The shepherd led his herd to the streams of Kongque River below.

Happy drinking, fellas!

The good shepherd.

Too bad I didn't make a clear shot. The shepherd was smiling at me!

Aha, this dark-brown-and-white sheep reminds me of chocolate pudding. And look! There's a dog swimming beside! See that?

Although only half the height of a sheep, this shepherd dog was a brave one. He swam beside the herd as they waded back from the river to the road. When the sheep were about to cross the road, in a blink of an eye he jumped out of the water and was already in the middle of the road. He stood there right between my car and the herd. With his wagging tail facing us, he watched the herd cross the road. Standing there, he made sure my car didn't come close and that the whole herd could cross safely. He was risking his life actually. What if my driver didn't care? He would be the one crushed first before any sheep.

When the shepherd was no more in sight and the road in front of us was clear of sheep, this dog kept standing in the middle of street. He faced towards the bushes on our right side and barked repeatedly.

"What's wrong?" I thought. "Aren't all the sheep across the road already?"

Suddenly a sheep popped out from the bushes. "Baaaa..."

The dog barked louder. "Bow! Bow!"

The naughty sheep made a quick gallop towards the direction where his fellows had went. And the dog ran along behind, still barking. "Quick! Your shepherd is far ahead, you know! What have you been doing there?!"

"I had to pee," answered the sheep making up a reason for straying away.

Hahaha, that last part is of course only my fantasy. But there really was a sheep that strayed away. If it weren't for the dog, the shepherd-man might have a hard time to find his lost sheep. He probably wouldn't be able to notice immediately, because he was already far ahead in front of his huge flock.

My first knowledge about sheep was of course from the Bible. Besides that, when I was about 6 years old, I had a story book about sheep from New Zealand. There were photos showing the green pastures of New Zealand and of how the sheep were shaved. Thus, I had always thought that the biggest population of sheep in the world was in the Middle East, plus New Zealand. Why there are many sheep in China, it's just because this land (Xinjiang, I mean) is already a mini Middle East. Just look at the people, the religion, the scripts, the desert, the camels, the kebab, and so forth. Sheep is merely an addition to the Middle East atmosphere.

How surprised I was when I read in Wikipedia that China holds the biggest population of sheep in the world! I wasn't convinced. So I googled elsewhere. Nevertheless, anywhere I clicked, China stayed number one.

Posted by automidori 03:03 Archived in China Tagged sheep china xinjiang korla Comments (0)

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