I wrote this in 2001 and it was published in the RanchDog Magazine (now the Stockdog Mag) and the Working Border Collie Magazine.
From the Sheep's Point of View
The JUDGE: Usually a person near the handler who will be impressed by your antics. The more antics you do, the more he will mark it down as points on the paper in his hand. The purpose is to have him or her mark down lots of points for you. Jumping the fence or lying down and playing down are worth many points. Hitting the panels will make you lose lots of points. Same goes for the PEN. Things to get more points: chasing the dog off the field, knocking the handler down at the pen, leaping into the set out or exhaust pen, playing dead, running in many directions and not flocking, having the dog bite you and Jump high when the dogs does this (this shows off your athletic ability), or not moving at all.
The HANDLER: A person that you can run over, knock down or hang near if the dog is near by. You can try to hang near the handler in hopes the dog will chase them instead of you. If not, knock down the handler and the dog will quit chasing you. You can do anything to the handler; however the handler can not touch you. This makes this person an easy mark. If you are going to knock them over, locate a large pile of poop for them to land in. You don't want to cripple them!!
The DOG: a nasty, little vermin who likes to sneak up on you and make you do what he or she wants with the help of that annoying Handler. However you can listen to that annoying Handler and figure out his/her next moves. They let everyone know their plan of attack. after all, when an enemy whistles what is going to happen next, what are the chances of them winning?
The Dog usually obeys these whistles so you can now use counter measures to win. Sometime you can get extra points by leading and teasing the dog until she/he bites. That will give the dog a DQ (See DQ for more info). You can also refuse to move and chat among your other sheep friend about the State of the Nation and cause the Dog and Handler to panic. Usually the Handler will give more whistles and when they are completely frazzled you can make a break for the SET OUT PEN. Never, obey the dog! Doing this will eventually lead you into the PEN which contains the nine headed space alien monster. Any sheep that lets a Dog move them here and there deserve to die.
The SET OUT CREW: A bunch of people to be avoided at all cost. Acts like you are cooperating then as soon as they stop moving, then bolt in 3 directions or back to the SET OUT PEN. When these people stop moving they can not move for about 2 minutes so use this time wisely. A good time to head back to the SET OUT PEN.
The DOWN WHISTLE: Means the dog is fast approaching you from behind. It is like a warning from that dumb handler down yonder. Use this brief warning wisely and run faster.
COME BYE, AWAY TO ME: Other warnings from the handler to let you know which direction the dog is approaching. This gives you time to re adjust and flee.
The PEN: The area where a nine headed space alien is hiding. Any sheep who enters this area is immediately eaten up - ALIVE and SLOWLY. Act like you are going into it, and then burst out, like the fireworks at the Fourth of July. If you can cause the PEN to collapse, you will get a large round of applause from the audience.
The EXHAUST PEN: Safety, run as fast as you can and leap over the fence into it. This is where you want to go after you have left the SET OUT PEN. The Dog and Handler will do everything to prevent this. Try to get there as fast as you can. Run over the Handler if necessary.
The SET OUT PEN: The other place of safety. As soon as you see the dog approach, run back to this pen and leap in. This is where you came from.
This is a very safe place and at all costs you must either go back here or the EXHAUST PEN. Anywhere else is danger. Act docile when they lead you out, and then wait a bit and you can make a break for this. Timing is critical.
The PANELS: Avoid going thru these at all costs. Act like you are going thru them and then at the last minute veer off. Any sheep caught going thru these are just waiting to being getting set up for that nine headed space alien in the pen.
Remember these panels are kin to the pen. It's like the plague or acne.
FIRST, SECOND and THIRD PLACE: These go for your sheep friends who have not read the rules or are completely stupid. They have hardly any points marked down on the Judges Score sheet. These sheep went in willing to the PEN and thusly DESERVE to be eaten by the nine headed alien. Do not hang out with these sheep at any other trials or you will get a reputation for being EASY!!!
DQ: When the judge calls this you have just impressed the Judge to no ends. You have won and the Judge has told the handler and dog that you beat them.
It is a great honor to get this. DQ mean DARN QUICK, meaning you are pretty darn quick in WINNING!! Sometimes you have to encourage the dog to bite to get this. Teasing is acceptable.
RT: This means the Handler has acknowledged you are the MASTER of the Universe and is throwing in the towel and you WIN. You get extra grain for this. You just beat the enemy. You also showed the Judge that as well. RT means Royal Thug. You are after all, the victor!!
copyright 2001 Diane Pagel