The Lamb and the Dog
March 23, 2021

Ewe and lamb in fieldWhen I came across a lone lamb in the lanes the other day, I thanked my lucky stars that Buzz was on the lead.

The lamb was on its own and bleating furiously; having somehow escaped from the field. It was desperate to get back in.

Buzz often gets excited around livestock, so I waited a moment and puzzled on how to help. I didn’t want to frighten it any further. I hooked Buzz’s lead over a branch and walked towards the lamb – maybe I could let it into the field, but it scuttled away as soon as I got close. I realised that if I opened the field gate and then ran back to try and shoo the lamb in, other sheep might escape. I paused, wondering what to do.

I knew I had to do something. A lone lamb in the lanes was in danger of being hit by an unsuspecting car or chased by a dog.

Maybe I could go to the farmhouse. With Buzz I walked up an overgrown path and found myself at the back of the farmhouse. The back door looked like it was unused, no-one was around. High walls stopped me from getting to the front door.

I returned down the path. I needed to find another way to the house, maybe I could go across the farmyard – but I got stuck again because the 5-bar gates were locked tight. The lamb continued to cry.

It was then something magical happened.

The lamb took some tentative steps towards me, it no longer seemed frightened. It suddenly dawned on me that it wasn’t me the lamb was moving towards, it was Buzz. The lamb seemed to trust the dog.

An idea flashed in my head. I walked with Buzz to the field gate and the lamb followed without hesitation. Once at the gate I opened it up and the lamb, on seeing the flock rushed in delightedly.

Phew! The job was done.

There was something so surreal about this encounter. The animals hadn’t acted as they should. Buzz, who is usually excitable around livestock, was on this occasion the gentle leader. The lamb, who should be frightened of dogs followed and trusted him implicitly.

I had a feeling that something very special had happened, that I was experiencing something that was quite profound on a different level. It reminded me that in this world, where divisions can seem so deep and people so polarised, that there is still hope.

What would it be like the powerful become humble and gently led? What would it be like if the timid found their inner strength and stepped forward? As I continued on my way home it felt like maybe there is real hope for the future of this world and that I had just witnessed how that might happen.

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About Inner Compass

Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are trainers, coaches and speakers. They work with individuals and groups across the UK. They also help develop coaching cultures (founded on wellbeing) within schools and organisations.

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