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Posted (edited)

Subject: Sheep, Wolves & Sheepdogs

Jill Edwards, a junior math major at the University of Washington. In brief, Edwards, a member of the UW student senate, opposed a memorial to UW grad "Pappy" Boyington. Boyington was a U.S. Marine aviator who earned the Medal of Honor in World War II. Edwards said that she didn't think it was appropriate to honor a person who killed other people. She also said that a member of the Marine Corps was NOT an example of the sort of person the University of Washington wanted to produce.

Gen. Dula's letter to the University of Washington student senate leader.

To: Edwards, Jill (student, UW)
Subject: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

Miss Edwards, I read of your 'student activity' regarding the proposed memorial to Col Greg Boyington, USMC and a Medal of Honor winner. I suspect you will receive a bellyful of angry e-mails from conservative folks like me. You may be too young to appreciate fully the sacrifices of generations of servicemen and servicewomen on whose shoulders you and your fellow students stand. I forgive you for the untutored ways of youth and your naiveté.

It may be that you are, simply, a sheep. There's no dishonor in being a sheep - - as long as you know and accept what you are. Please take a couple of minutes to read the following. And be grateful for the thousands - - millions - - of American sheepdogs who permit you the freedom to express even bad ideas.

Brett Dula
Sheepdog, retired

----------------------------------------------------------
ON SHEEP, WOLVES, AND SHEEPDOGS


By LTC(RET) Dave Grossman, RANGER,
Ph.D., author of "On Killing."

Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself.


"Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another.


Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me, it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell.


Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell. And, someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

"Then there are the wolves,", "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf.

But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed

Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial. That is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools.

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa."; Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.


The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warrior-hood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population.


There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: Slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. - Edmund Burke

Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.

If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

For example, many officers carry their weapons in church. They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs. Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.


In Texas, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"

It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear, helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.


Gavin de Becker puts it like this: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling."

Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level. And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes.

If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself..."Baa."

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other.

Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheep-hood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.


"If It Weren't For The United States Military", "There Would Be NO United States of America"

There is a problem with the story.

There are only sheep, wolves and sheepdogs.

It's missing people like us.

Like most here, I am a bear. I eat berries and vegetation and occasionally carrion and can kill to sustain myself but don't have to.

The wolves don't like me very much either and don't mess with me because they can tell the difference between me and the sheep.

The sheep like me because they think I'm a sheep too. But they are wrong.

The sheepdogs aren't quite sure about the bears - they mostly like the bears but some sheepdogs don't like the bears because they think only the sheepdogs should have fangs.

My fangs are actually much more potent and I am more skilled with their use than most sheepdogs - not all, but most.

Bears are fine without the sheepdogs and resent being grouped with the sheep when that happens...

The story is missing the bears.
*******************************************

 

After reading this I guess I would say I am also a bear.

 

Interesting read.

 

TM

Edited by Texas Maverick
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A good read, thank you.  And mostly true.

One thing that always bothers me about the sheep/sheepdog analogy is that another legitimate role of the sheepdog is to herd the sheep into the pen for slaughter. 

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3 minutes ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

A good read, thank you.  And mostly true.

One thing that always bothers me about the sheep/sheepdog analogy is that another legitimate role of the sheepdog is to herd the sheep into the pen for slaughter. 

The sheepdog may protect the sheep, but does not work for the sheep and does not answer to the sheep.

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I don't know who General Dula is or was, but I would hope that a general in the armed forces of the United States would have better sense than to think that you WIN the Medal of Honor.

 

For that reason alone, I believe the first part of that story was bogus.

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The "sheep, wolves and sheepdogs" analogy is interesting. I have heard it before, from an Air Force general speaking to a bunch of former missileers (ICBM launch and maintenance people). He said (paraphrasing), "You are the sheep and we are the sheepdogs., keeping the wolves (and Russian bears?) at bay!" 

 

"Pappy" Boyington may not have been the most sterling character in his personal life, but by-God he was where we needed him, when we needed him, and fully deserving of being honored by his alma mater!  To those students or whoever they are who object to such honor, I say, the ONLY reason you can act (peacefully ONLY) the way you do, is because Greg Boyington and millions of others kept that right from those who would have and would now deny us all those rights put down in the U.S. Constitution. 

 

God Bless the Sheepdogs! :FlagAm:

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3 hours ago, Alpo said:

I don't know who General Dula is or was, but I would hope that a general in the armed forces of the United States would have better sense than to think that you WIN the Medal of Honor.

 

For that reason alone, I believe the first part of that story was bogus.

Son, I just lost a lot of respect for you.  Quibbling over a simple word, almost universally misused, to claim something is bogus is just simply wrong.

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Posted (edited)

While I believe the analogy is generally helpful , I believe he goes overboard and even contradicts himself in several spots.

 

On 5/14/2024 at 8:55 AM, Texas Maverick said:

If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself..."Baa."

 

This is utter nonsense. Sure, by not carrying a weapon, generally understood to mean a firearm, when allowed to do so means you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. It does not, however, make one a sheep. To wit:
 

On 5/14/2024 at 8:55 AM, Texas Maverick said:

There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: Slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness.

 

Clearly one's personal awareness, confidence and demeanor play a role in not only how they are viewed by "wolves," it also directly correlates to how one is likely to respond to a bad situation. Again, following up with an example:

 

On 5/14/2024 at 8:55 AM, Texas Maverick said:

Todd (Beamer) dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers.

 

Were Beamer and the other passengers who fought that day armed? Certainly not with firearms, likely only with whatever improvised weapons they could muster. He says they went from being sheep to sheepdogs. I would proffer they were always sheepdogs, they simply had no need to respond to their true nature before that time.

 

I don't think I'm a sheep, sheepdog, wolf or bear. I'm a burro. The sheep, sheepdogs, horses and other farmyard animals aren't all that afraid of me, but they tend to leave me alone. I can be obstinate to a fault, sometimes uncouth and even obnoxious, but let a coyote step foot in the pasture and it is game on!

Edited by DocWard
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, DocWard said:

While I believe the analogy is generally helpful , I believe he goes overboard and even contradicts himself in several spots.

 

 

This is utter nonsense. Sure, by not carrying a weapon, generally understood to mean a firearm, when allowed to do so means you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. It does not, however, make one a sheep. To wit:
 

 

Clearly one's personal awareness, confidence and demeanor play a role in not only how they are viewed by "wolves," it also directly correlates to how one is likely to respond to a bad situation. Again, following up with an example:

 

 

Were Beamer and the other passengers who fought that day armed? Certainly not with firearms, likely only with whatever improvised weapons they could muster. He says they went from being sheep to sheepdogs. I would proffer they were always sheepdogs, they simply had no need to respond to their true nature before that time.

 

I don't think I'm a sheep, sheepdog, wolf or bear. I'm a burro. The sheep, sheepdogs, horses and other farmyard animals aren't all that afraid of me, but they tend to leave me alone. I can be obstinate to a fault, sometimes uncouth and even obnoxious, but let a coyote step foot in the pasture and it is game on!

All good points. i remember Chuck Norris saying one time that you just need to look around and you can find items that can be used as a weapon. He pointed out a magazine and said roll it real tight and you now have a weapon to jab or poke with. I have seen pencils and pens also work as a weapon in one of my self defense classes. Weapons are everywhere. You just have to look for them and figure out how to use them.

 

TM

Edited by Texas Maverick
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Texas Maverick said:

All good points. i remember Chuck Norris saying one time that you just need to look around and you can find items that can be used as a weapon. He pointed out a magazine and said roll it real tight and you now have a weapon to jab or poke with. I have seen pencils and pens also work as a weapon in one of my self defense classes. Weapons are everywhere. You just have to look for them and figure out how to use them.

 

TM

 

Become a MacGyver of sorts.  Use what you have available to you to the best of your ability to gain advantge. 

Edited by Calamity Kris
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3 hours ago, Texas Maverick said:

All good points. i remember Chuck Norris saying one time that you just need to look around and you can find items that can be used as a weapon. He pointed out a magazine and said roll it real tight and you now have a weapon to jab or poke with. I have seen pencils and pens also work as a weapon in one of my self defense classes. Weapons are everywhere. You just have to look for them and figure out how to use them.

 

TM

 

I had a LEO pull me over in my work truck (electrician) for a rolling right turn at a traffic light and ask me if I had any weapons in the truck. My exact words to him were "Everything in this truck could be used as a weapon if I had to."

 

Ran my DL and registration quickly and I was on my way. No ticket.

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On the rare occasions I get pulled over and ask if I have weapons, I answer "Of course!" (In Arizona they don't have a problem with it as long as you're honest about it).

Of course when I used to make deliveries at Raytheon, THEN I'd answer, "Not that you know of." But I'd say it as though I was just joking, so they never got upset. They never found my gun, either. Neither did the M.P.s at any Military Base I entered.:ph34r:

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"I have a valid permit and I am armed. How do you want me to proceed?"

 

This does three things. First, it tells the officer you are a good guy (of course subject to verification). Second, never (ever) say "gun." Third, acknowledge the officer has control.

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On 5/14/2024 at 12:07 PM, Trailrider #896 said:

The "sheep, wolves and sheepdogs" analogy is interesting. I have heard it before, from an Air Force general speaking to a bunch of former missileers (ICBM launch and maintenance people). He said (paraphrasing), "You are the sheep and we are the sheepdogs., keeping the wolves (and Russian bears?) at bay!" 

 

"Pappy" Boyington may not have been the most sterling character in his personal life, but by-God he was where we needed him, when we needed him, and fully deserving of being honored by his alma mater!  To those students or whoever they are who object to such honor, I say, the ONLY reason you can act (peacefully ONLY) the way you do, is because Greg Boyington and millions of others kept that right from those who would have and would now deny us all those rights put down in the U.S. Constitution. 

 

God Bless the Sheepdogs! :FlagAm:

my thought as well , too often these days the ones who protest too much forget that it was people loke that who preserved their rights to protest 

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On 5/14/2024 at 2:42 PM, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

Son, I just lost a lot of respect for you.  Quibbling over a simple word, almost universally misused, to claim something is bogus is just simply wrong.

good point , yet , i knowing that you earn that have always known that no medal is awarded to a person that won it - only the press and those looking for headlines of some sort use that term , i always discard or accept their ignorance relative to that phrase , the honor remains to those that were awarded 

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11 hours ago, John Kloehr said:

"I have a valid permit and I am armed. How do you want me to proceed?"

 

This does three things. First, it tells the officer you are a good guy (of course subject to verification). Second, never (ever) say "gun." Third, acknowledge the officer has control.

A: if asked by authority I respond: legal concealed carry in x location.

 

2: I detest being 'disarmed for officer safety' by authority when their authority stems from the government made up of citizens, of which I am one. I was going about my business and have not opened hostilities but authority gets to stay armed. 

 

iii: I have had my firearms returned in pieces because an officer was unable to return it to working order after he field stripped it to 'make it safe'.  

 

I am not a dog or a bear or any other animal I am a capable grown human in the Heinlein vein.  I am a citizen and maintain my obligations as such.

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I have never been nor will I ever be a sheep. If someone thinks you need to armed to not be a sheep that person is probably an egotistical asshat. There are more morons carrying guns than there are sheepdogs and a sheepdog doesn’t need a gun to do it’s job or function in society. 
 

 My two cents…and it won’t get you 2 pieces of penny candy. 

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Excellent quote (summary) from Lt Grossman's book, "On Killing":

 

"Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident. Then there are the wolves, and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy. Then there are sheepdogs and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.

 

We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. "

 

Grossmans books ("On Killing" and "Teaching our Kids to Kill") are good reading.  His lecture, "The Bulletproof Mind" is also worth attending or listening to the recording.

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Well, not as simple as you might think.  We have a couple of neighbors and acquaintances who raise sheep and have sheepdogs.  The dogs live with the herd full time and are basically sheep with teeth.  They are not socialized with humans as other dogs usually are.  They are fed by the rancher, and taken to the vet as needed, but there is no great emotional bond.  They will not harm a living sheep but will eat a dead one.  If I stop to take a photo of the flock, outside the wire at the edge of the road I get a focus that they would apply to any potential threat.  If I crossed the fence, which I have no reason to do, I am unsure of their response - best guess, no upside, no better outcome than any other threat.

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