You see they didn’t have the same need as the others for water at Georges, but of course were still thirsty, and to avoid a break in the wool fleece they ideally required water also, but their endeavour for freedom was stronger than their need for water at that particular point in time.
That’s about when Dad made the near fatal, but understandable decision to ask me to “ keep up the tail”, as the tail animals were pulling up under the attractive shade trees, and getting further and further behind, and I jumped out of the jeep to push up the shade hugging stragglers. The mob was affectively splitting apart in the scrubby country where you could only see fifty to eighty metres in front of you, and vehicle access and manoeuvrability was becoming more difficult.
Neither of us thought this was a problem, me getting on the tail of the mob as I had done this before and the fence was just over there as a guide anyway, as Dad moved the vehicle up and down the wing to keep the wanderers in, and thru the scrub I could hear him continuously, so there was no problem initially.
A few things happened though that we didn’t expect.
I was initially trotting on the tail of the mob, which was probably stretched a hundred meters or so across and in sight of the fence through the trees. Initially the sheep moved well from my close proximity and perceived pressure, but after a few kilometres they took less notice and were pulling up more in the shade, and becoming less responsive to my pressure. At the same time Dad’s jeep noise was getting further away as his sheep on the top wing (those fit bastards) were pushing out further towards the NE away from the fence –and me.
I realised I was keen for a drink from that waterbag in the jeep after an hour or so of pushing the tail –although now I had sensibly eased down to a steady walk. One might say the excitement of doing a big man’s job was wearing off!!