snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Archived Forums » Critters Archive » Break a sheep's leg to keep it from straying

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Break a sheep's leg to keep it from straying
Spam & Cookies-mmm
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 217 posted      Profile for Spam & Cookies-mmm   E-mail Spam & Cookies-mmm   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Roy Gustafson, who has led many parties to Israel, tells in his book "In His hand" (p.46) that on one of his visits, on the road down from Jerusalem through the Judean wilderness to Jericho, they met a shepherd carrying one of his sheep with a splint and a bandage on its leg.

Said their guide, who'd lived nearly fifty years in that area, "The shepherd broke that sheep's leg himself."

And it was true! It was explained that this was a sheep that was always wandering off, and in the process leading other sheep astray. Membership in the flock carries certain responsibilities, and much as the shepherd feels a real affection for his animals, discipline is the only thing that will keep them together, as they must be kept together for their well-being and their safety.

So to cure this sheep of its self-willed ways, the shepherd had broken its leg, and then hand fed and carried it till the bone was mended ... and (hopefully) its waywardness.


This makes no sense to me. Until very recently, a broken leg could lead to infection, permanent lameness, or death. And even if a shepherd were willing to risk the loss of one sheep to keep it from leading others astray, wouldn't he have a big problem if more thaan one sheep needed a good leg breakin'?

Has anyone ever heard of this practice?

--------------------
Did you see the Announcement?
There's a new snopes message board!

Posts: 7767 | From: Paradise Ceded | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
moonfall86
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for moonfall86   E-mail moonfall86   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Why can't they just put the sheep on a leash?
Posts: 885 | From: Florida | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Troodon
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Troodon     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Or hand-feed it and carry it without breaking its leg?
Posts: 3745 | From: New York City | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
John Stephens
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Or just eat the damn thing and be done with it?
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Nicias
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Um, can we say hobble?
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
diddy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 1 posted      Profile for diddy   E-mail diddy   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by moonfall86:
Why can't they just put the sheep on a leash?

Or build a fence....

--------------------
W.W.F.S.M.D?
But this image of Bush as some sort of Snidely Whiplash tying the fair maiden to the railroad tracks is beyond the pale. - Joe Bentley

Posts: 2311 | From: Minnnesota | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
The Ota Faction
Happy Holly Days


Icon 1 posted      Profile for The Ota Faction   Author's Homepage   E-mail The Ota Faction   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Borderline Glurge.
Sheep being flock type livestock, breaking the leg of a sheep would keep the potential wanderers (and any sheep dumb enough to follow it) from disappearing, right? So how does the hand feeding and carrying about teach a sheep discipline? I say just get a damn sheepdog.

--------------------
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are." - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
"That lonely recluse who lives down the road is crying out. So is that pregnant teenager. And the prostitute. And the drunkard."
Join the Free State Project - I did!

Posts: 1516 | From: *sigh* Elmira, NY | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
moonfall86
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for moonfall86   E-mail moonfall86   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I figured something along hte lines of what Ota is thinking. It's meant to be a metaphor for punishment in order to better one's character.
Posts: 885 | From: Florida | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
diddy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 1 posted      Profile for diddy   E-mail diddy   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
It worul work for one sheep maybe - if it didnt end up fearing the herder maybe. But unless teh herder was going to carry around several sheep at once, that would be asking for trouble by preditors.

--------------------
W.W.F.S.M.D?
But this image of Bush as some sort of Snidely Whiplash tying the fair maiden to the railroad tracks is beyond the pale. - Joe Bentley

Posts: 2311 | From: Minnnesota | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
noreen
We Three Blings


Icon 37 posted      Profile for noreen     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
IIRC, this showed up in a glurge several years ago.


quote:
Originally posted by Spam & Cookies-mmmm:
quote:
Roy Gustafson, who has led many parties to Israel, tells in his book "In His hand" (p.46) that on one of his visits, on the road down from Jerusalem through the Judean wilderness to Jericho, they met a shepherd carrying one of his sheep with a splint and a bandage on its leg.

Said their guide, who'd lived nearly fifty years in that area, "The shepherd broke that sheep's leg himself."

And it was true! It was explained that this was a sheep that was always wandering off, and in the process leading other sheep astray. Membership in the flock carries certain responsibilities, and much as the shepherd feels a real affection for his animals, discipline is the only thing that will keep them together, as they must be kept together for their well-being and their safety.

So to cure this sheep of its self-willed ways, the shepherd had broken its leg, and then hand fed and carried it till the bone was mended ... and (hopefully) its waywardness.


This makes no sense to me. Until very recently, a broken leg could lead to infection, permanent lameness, or death. And even if a shepherd were willing to risk the loss of one sheep to keep it from leading others astray, wouldn't he have a big problem if more thaan one sheep needed a good leg breakin'?

Has anyone ever heard of this practice?



--------------------
"No matter what kind of a twisted sexual mutant you happen to be, you've got millions of pals out there. Type in 'Find people that have sex with goats that are on fire' and the computer will say, 'Specify type of goat.'"

Posts: 1112 | From: Ohio | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dutch Angua
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Dutch Angua   Author's Homepage     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Sounds rather stupid to me. Not to mention cruel.
The fracture might get infected.

--------------------
Dude, where's my siggy?

Posts: 276 | From: Holland | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Laura......The one with the rage
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Are sheep really that intelligent? Would the sheep really think "well, i'm certainly not going wandering off again, me leg is bloody killing me thanks to that cruel bastard!"

Would the other sheep think "by eck, look what happened to our sean, that's put me off wandering off on me own again!"

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Billy Biggles
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Billy Biggles   Author's Homepage   E-mail Billy Biggles   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I think Ronnie and Reggie Kray used to serve broken leg of lamb in their nightclubs. They loved their old mum.

--------------------
Cogito ergo sum, non sum qualis eram. Putting Descartes before the Horace every time.

Posts: 377 | From: East Anglia, UK | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Horse Chestnut
Happy Holly Days


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Horse Chestnut     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
"We destroyed the sheep to save the sheep."
Posts: 1651 | From: Columbus, Ohio | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Damian
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Damian   E-mail Damian   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Laura......The one with the rage:
Are sheep really that intelligent? Would the sheep really think "well, i'm certainly not going wandering off again, me leg is bloody killing me thanks to that cruel bastard!"

Would the other sheep think "by eck, look what happened to our sean, that's put me off wandering off on me own again!"

Perhaps it would make the lead sheep decide to get the flock out of there.

--------------------
"I always tell the truth. Even when I lie." - Tony Montana

Posts: 890 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
the Virgin Marrya
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for the Virgin Marrya     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
See, the important 'factoid' left out of this glurge is that it wasn't a SHEEP, it was a lamb.

As the story goes, you break the lamb's leg, and reset it. Said lamb then can't walk or care for it'self, so the shepherd carries it across his shoulders for however long, feeding it, etc. The lamb is then sooooo grateful for the TLC it forgets that the shepherd was the one who inflicted the injury in the first place, and oes all 'pet lamb' on him. The rest of the flock tend to do that "following like sheep" thing, and la de dah, there you go, a flock that goes wherever you lead it.


Marry "or so they told me in Sunday School" ya

--------------------
Windows cannot open this file. To open this file correctly, defenestrate, then try running the file again...

Posts: 5383 | From: New Zealand | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


Icon 102 posted      Profile for Joseph Z   E-mail Joseph Z   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by moonfall86:
Why can't they just put the sheep on a leash?

Dog leashes wouldn't fit sheeps. They'd just slip off. But fences are generally high enough to keep the sheep from jumping over.

But a less conspicious way rather than abusing an animal violating PETA rights is to stick invisible fence tags on them and setup a perimeter. When they try to cross the fence, they receive a jolt to keep them inside the barrier.

IFs are not very strong to cause permanent side effects leaning towards death hearsay. It's just a harmless jolt to nudge them back inside the perimeter.

Least it's not like the Running Man ordeal where if they crossed the invisible fence, their heads explode.

--------------------
Joseph Z

Posts: 1356 | From: Woodbridge, VA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dutch Angua
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Dutch Angua   Author's Homepage     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Hmpf, so you first have to injure a lamb to give it love?
Should try that on my cat...

--------------------
Dude, where's my siggy?

Posts: 276 | From: Holland | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Tabbymago
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 18 posted      Profile for Tabbymago   Author's Homepage   E-mail Tabbymago   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dutch Angua:
Hmpf, so you first have to injure a lamb to give it love?
Should try that on my cat...

Other way 'round. The cat is injuring you on the way to showing you love.

-Tabby
the princess with claws

--------------------
If you don't appreciate the irony, the irony appreciates.

"Sappiness and medieval violence: it's a wonderful combination. Like chocolate and peanut butter for the mind." -me on my fantasy novel-in-progress

Posts: 2281 | From: Arizona | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ms_Anthropy
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
This is a very common story told in churches, illustrating parts of the 23 Psalm ("The Lord is my shepherd...").

It is explained that in Old Testament times, if a prized lamb frequently wandered off, it was at risk of being lost, wild animals, starving, etc... To re-train the wayward animal to stay with the herd, the shepherd would carefully break it's leg. Then the shepherd carried the lamb everywhere, bringing all it's food and water. The animal would bond with it's caretaker during that time and when the leg mended, it would not stray far from the shepherd.

It was an ancient practice, not a modern one. Although I suppose it could still happen.

Whether it truly was practiced or not, I don't know. When I googled it, a ton of sermons and hearsay came up but I found no sites dedicated to the history af ancient shepherding for independent collaboration. It seems like it could be true.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
nerdymcnerd
Little Sales Drummer Boy


Icon 1 posted      Profile for nerdymcnerd   E-mail nerdymcnerd   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Joseph Z:
Dog leashes wouldn't fit sheeps. They'd just slip off.

Why would dog leashes slip off sheep? Not that using leashes would work with sheep herding from a practical standpoint, but I see no reason why a leash wouldn't work on a sheep.

quote:
IFs are not very strong to cause permanent side effects leaning towards death hearsay.
Hearsay, you say?

--------------------
Skunks hate the sound of industry.

Posts: 2723 | From: Geneva, Illinois | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Malruhn
The "Was on Sale" Song


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Malruhn   E-mail Malruhn   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Fat necks and small heads... you would have to use a full "chest" collar, almost 'guide-doggish'.

--------------------
Opinions aren't excuses to remain ignorant about subjects, nor are they excuses to never examine one's beliefs & prejudices...

Babies are like tattoos. You see other peoples' & they're cool, but yours is never as good & you can't get rid of it.

Posts: 5622 | From: Jax, Florida | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
I saw Mommy kismet Santa Claus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for I saw Mommy kismet Santa Claus   E-mail I saw Mommy kismet Santa Claus   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Thanks everyone, I now have the bizarre mental image of a shepherd with 150 sheep on harness and leash. Like a NYC dogwalker, sorta.
Posts: 2115 | From: Texas | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
nerdymcnerd
Little Sales Drummer Boy


Icon 1 posted      Profile for nerdymcnerd   E-mail nerdymcnerd   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm pretty sure a choke collar and leash would technically work - as in, wouldn't slip off - but in all my experience working with sheep I certainly wouldn't use one.

--------------------
Skunks hate the sound of industry.

Posts: 2723 | From: Geneva, Illinois | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Robigus, Frozen Mushroom
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robigus, Frozen Mushroom   E-mail Robigus, Frozen Mushroom   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
And here I was thinking this was about some poor sheep owing his bookie money, and the bookie sending Guido to jog his memory with some internal realignment. Silly, just silly.
Posts: 724 | From: Florida | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Shades of Pale
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
As Ms. Anthropy said, it is an ancient practice, and she described it well. Hence the Psalmist's plea, "Let these bones that you have broken rejoice! It might make abstract sense but it will not fully make sense until you understand the old practices of the time; good biblical commentaries clearly reference this practice in explaining that verse.

Try to keep in mind sheep/lambs are not smart, or independent. Staying with the herd is essential. Following the shepherd. These are the things that keep that lamb/sheep alive.

So Marrya, as to the lamb's broken leg being a lesson to the rest of the flock, no, sorry. It isn't. It is just that lambs' natural tendency isn't to wander; self-preservation dictates they follow and stick with the herd and shepherd. The rare sheep who insist on perpetually wandering is, for his own safety, hobbled. But they don't become bitter; and frankly there is no reason to. It was done with the sheep's best interest at heart, with love.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dutch Angua
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Dutch Angua   Author's Homepage     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Hmmmm, I really don't know about this...
What you say makes sense, and I believe the shepherd wouldn't mean any harm at all...but the broken leg could get infected, so it could be dangerous.

I still don't like it one bit, but I can understand why they did it.

--------------------
Dude, where's my siggy?

Posts: 276 | From: Holland | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2